REPORT No. 98/17
CASE 12.925
REPORT ON MERITS
OSCAR RAÚL GORIGOITIA
ARGENTINA
SEPTEMBER 5, 2017

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On January 19, 1999, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Commission,” “the Inter-American Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received a petition filed by Carlos Varela
Álvarez and Alejandro Acosta (hereinafter “the petitioner”) alleging the responsibility of the Argentine
Republic (hereinafter “State of Argentina,” “Argentina,” or “the State”) for the absence of an ordinary appeal
that would permit a comprehensive review of the conviction of Oscar Raúl Gorigoitia in the framework of a
criminal proceeding in the province of Mendoza, Argentina.
2.
The State alleged that it does not bear any international responsibility because Mr.
Gorigoitia’s conviction was carried out in line with the provisions of the domestic legal regulatory framework
and international standards. It contended that his right to defend himself was guaranteed and he was allowed
to file appeals to challenge the conviction. It explained that these appeals were ruled inadmissible because
they did not meet the “required procedural formalities.”
3.
After reviewing the position of the parties, the Commission concluded that the State of
Argentina is responsible for the violation of the rights to a fair trial and to judicial protection, as set forth in
Articles 8.2 h) and 25.1 of the American Convention, in connection with the obligations established in Articles
1.1 and 2 thereof, to the detriment of Oscar Raúl Gorigoitia. The Commission made the corresponding
recommendations.

II.

PROCEDURES BEFORE THE COMMISSION

4.
The IACHR received the initial petition on January 19, 1999. The proceedings, from submittal
of the petition up to the ruling on the case’s admissibility, are explained in detail in Admissibility Report
35/13, adopted on July 11, 2013.1
5.
On September 6, 2013, the Commission notified said report to the parties and indicated its
availability to reach a friendly settlement. On August 2, 2016, the petitioner submitted its observations on the
merits. On August 10, 2016, the IACHR forwarded the observations to the State and granted it a statutory
deadline of four months to submit its observations. On December 16, 2016, the State requested the
Commission a first extension of the deadline for submitting its observations, which was granted on December
21, 2016. On February 17, 2017 Argentina requested the IACHR to grant a second extension, which was
turned down on February 21, 2017, in keeping with the provisions of Article 37.2 of IACHR’s Rules of
Procedure. At the time of the adoption of the present report, the State had not submitted its observations on
the merits of the case

III.

ALLEGATIONS OF THE PARTIES

A.

Allegations of the petitioner

6.
The petitioner alleged that the State was responsible for violating the right of Oscar Raúl
Gorigoitia to appeal the guilty verdict that convicted him in 1997 for the crime of manslaughter. It reported
1

IACHR. Report on Admissibility No. 35/13. Case 12.925. Posadas et al. v. Argentina. July 11, 2013.

1

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