1
INTER - AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
COMISION INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS
COMISSÃO INTERAMERICANA DE DIREITOS HUMANOS
COMMISSION INTERAMÉRICAINE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME

ORGANIZACIÓN DE LOS ESTADOS AMERICANOS
WASHINGTON, D.C. 2 0 0 0 6 EEUU
May 29, 2012
Ref.:

Case No. 12.167
Hugo Oscar Arguelles y otros
Argentina

Mr. Secretary:
I am pleased to address you on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
in order to file Case No. 12.167 Hugo Oscar Arguelles et al. v. Argentina (hereinafter “the State”,
“the Argentinian State” or “Argentina”) before the jurisdiction of the Honorable Inter-American Court
of Human Rights regarding the with the violation of the right to personal liberty and the right to a
fair trial in the domestic proceedings against members of the military for the crime of military fraud,
pursuant to the provisions of the Code of Military Justice of Argentina (hereinafter CMJ), then in
force. Specifically, the facts that gave rise to this case occurred during 1978-1980; and they
resulted in the detention in solitary confinement [incomunicado] of approximately 50 officers, 21 of
which are victims in the instant case, who were in charge of funds belonging to a number of
Argentine Air Force bases.
In its Merits Report, the Commission concluded that the State infringed upon the right, with
prejudice to the victims, to have technical assistance in their defense, as article 87 of the CMJ did
not grant defendants the right to a lawyer but only to be defended by an active or retired military
officer, and the right to defense by a lawyer was provided for once the defendant had made a
statement before the court (article 252, CMJ).
It was also the opinion of the Commission that the victims remained incommunicado for a
period exceeding the permissible limit under the CMJ; that the CMJ did not establish a deadline for
the Military Tribunal to decide the case of a detainee, and that, moreover, the victims were in
preventive detention for nearly 7 years, with no justification given by the State for the delay.
Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretary
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Apartado 6906-1000, San José, Costa Rica

Regarding the CMJ, the Commission held that it included certain provisions that prima facie
constituted an infringement of the right to a fair trial and to access to justice, which was
acknowledged by the State itself when it repealed the code; the repeal, however, did not result in
reparations for the victims. It should be noted that the State repealed the CMJ in the framework of

Select target paragraph3