REPORT Nº 123/06
PETITION 997-03
ADMISSIBILITY
ALICIA BARBANI DUARTE, MARIA DEL HUERTO BRECCIA, ET AL.
(DEPOSITORS OF THE BANCO DE MONTEVIDEO)
REPUBLIC OF URUGUAY
October 27, 2006

I.

SUMMARY

1. On October 17, 2003, Alicia Barbani Duarte and María del Huerto Breccia Farro (hereinafter,
“the petitioners”) lodged on their own behalf and on behalf of 686 other persons a petition with
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter, “the Commission”) against the
Republic of Uruguay (hereinafter, “the State”) for alleged violation of the rights to life (Article
4), property (Article 21), and equal protection (Article 24), in conjunction with the violation of
the obligations to ensure rights and adopt measures (Articles 1(1) and (2)) set forth in the
American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter, the “American Convention”). The State’s
responsibility for said violations is alleged to arise from the crime of fraud committed against a
group of depositors with TCB-Banco de Montevideo in alleged collusion with the Uruguayan
authorities due to their omission to monitor the activities of said banks and their proprietors.
2. As regards the admissibility of the complaint, the petitioners argue that the petition meets
all of the requirements contained in Article 46 of the Convention and that they exhausted the
domestic remedies created by the State when they filed their claims before the Special
Commission created by Article 31 of Law 17.613. The State, for its part, argued that the
petition was inadmissible on both formal grounds --non-exhaustion of judicial domestic
remedies still in process-- and merits, inasmuch as none of the alleged violations of human
rights has been demonstrated.
3. Having examined the positions of the parties, the Commission concluded that it was
competent to decide the petition and that the case is admissible in accordance with Article 46
of the American Convention. Consequently, the Commission decided to inform the parties of its
decision, make the instant report on admissibility public, and include it in its Annual Report to
the OAS General Assembly.
II.

PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION

4. On October 17, 2003, the Commission received a petition lodged by Alicia Barbani Duarte
and María del Huerto Breccia Farro, which it registered as number P-997/03. On April 6, 2004,
the Commission requested the petitioners to submit additional information with respect to
exhaustion of domestic remedies. In response to that request the petitioners reformulated
their original petition, which they presented on December 15, 2004. The Commission
transmitted the pertinent portions of the petition to the State on December 20, 2004, and
granted it two months in which to reply. On February 9, 2005, the State requested an
extension of the time in which to present its response. On February 15, the Commission
granted it an extension of 28 days. On February 22, 2005, the State submitted its comments
on the petition, which were forwarded to the petitioners on February 23, 2005. On March 21,
2005, the Commission received the observations of the petitioners on the response of the
State and conveyed them to the latter on June 23 that same year without a request for
comments. On October 17, 2005, at its 123rd regular session, the Commission held a hearing
on the admissibility of the complaint, which was attended by the petitioners and
representatives of the Uruguayan State. On February 16, 2006, as a result of that hearing, the
Commission requested additional information as regards exhaustion of domestic remedies, in
particular on the status of the petitions for nullification. The State and the petitioners replied
on February 24 and March 5, 2006, respectively. The State presented additional information,

1

Select target paragraph3