of Uruguay to grant the depositors of the Banco de Montevideo the same rights as all other
depositors in those cases in which their deposits had been “transferred to other institutions
without their consent.” To that end, the Law created a Special Commission to examine the
claims of depositors and grant them the appropriate rights provided that they met all three
requirements established by the Law: existence of a prior deposit, transfer to another
institution, and lack of consent from the depositor.
9. The petitioners argued that the Special Commission appointed by the Central Bank adopted
an attitude that totally contradicted the clear and specific provisions of the Law, with the
upshot that of more than 1,200 claims, only 22 were declared admissible. The petitioners
alleged that the few claims that received approval did so in an irregular manner, based on
favorable arguments of witnesses in a very few cases, while other claims that were in an
identical situation were refused on the same arguments, in violation of the right to equal
protection of the law. According to the petitioners, this Special Commission was composed of
trusted appointees of the government and it approved a few claims but denied the majority
based on ridiculous arguments. The petitioners say that among the 22 cases approved were
those of three former officers and directors of the Banco de Montevideo, who were recognized
as depositors and had exactly the same deposits as the petitioners and all the other
depositors, with the aggravating circumstance that they were familiar with all of the internal
operations and workings of said bank. According to the petitioners, this Special Commission
has discriminated against them, which constitutes a violation of the right of equality before the
law enshrined in Article 24 of the American Convention.
10. As a result of this refusal and the enormous blow dealt to most of the depositors by the
loss of their entire life savings, five people committed suicide and, therefore, the violation of
the right to property recognized in Article 21 denied them respect for human dignity and,
consequently, in this case, violated their right to life, enshrined in Article 4 of the American
Convention.
11. With respect to admissibility requirements, the petitioners said that they attempted all the
appropriate administrative and judicial remedies in the prescribed time and manner. As
regards criminal proceedings, the persons concerned filed criminal chargeswhich were taken
up by the Eighth Court of First Instance, which ordered the imprisonment pending trial of
several former managers of the Banco de Montevideo, who have been charged as coperpetrators of the crimes of fraud, simulation, and breach of bylaws, in accordance with
Article 76 of Law 2.230.4 Also on trial before the Eighth Court of First Instance are the brothers
Juan, José, and Dante Peirano Basso, members of the managing board of the Velox Group.5
During the processing of the petition, despite said proceedings, the petitioners say that, as yet,
no one has been convicted in a final judgment of any of the alleged crimes.
12. Furthermore, the petitioners said that they attempted the administrative and legislative
remedies available to them in order to recoup their savings. The Executive Branch enacted
Law 17.613 of December 27, 2002, to protect depositors who had deposited their savings in
the former Banco de Montevideo. They say that they presented their claims to the Special
Commission under the auspices of that Law, but that they were rejected without justification
and in a discriminatory manner. Article 31 of Law 17.613 -which is a special law and,
4

Several criminal actions were brought: on August 8, 2002, against Dante, José and Jorge Peirano Basso, members of
the board of Banco de Montevideo and Banco La Caja Obrera; in November 2002 against Marcelo Guadalupe, former
manager of Banco de Montevideo; Mario San Cristobal, former chairman of Banco de Montevideo; and Domingo Ratti;
on April 20, 2003, Jorge Peirano Faccio died in prison. Juan Peirano Basso, the other member of the group, is at
present a fugitive of justice with an international warrant out for his arrest. In August 2004 four more people were
indicted in the same proceeding, all of them former managers of Banco de Montevideo and Banco La Caja Obrera:
Carlos Alberto Codesal Longo, Christian Phillip Rippe Staff, Daniel Valgo, and José Iraola Anton. They have been
imprisoned pending trial as co-perpetrators of the offence recognized in Article 76 of Law 2.230 in the modalities of
fraud, simulation, and breach of bylaws.
5
The Judge of the Eighth Court of First Instance, which ordered the imprisonment pending trial of four former
managers of Banco de Montevideo, said, “TCB never existed since it was a legal fiction and the instrument to propitiate
the fraud. Its books were kept in a secret office in the Montevideo Free Trade Zone and it did not have a physical
presence until September 2001.”
3

Select target paragraph3