photographs of the operations carried out. On May 22, 1996, the Commission sent a copy of the aforementioned material to the State for its evaluation and comment. 7. On June 26, 1996, the Inter-American Commission received the reply from the State. The reply discussed the remedies available in Brazil to resolve the dispute and, at the same time, argued that domestic remedies had not been exhausted and that the petition no longer had substance. On July 16, 1996, the Commission forwarded a copy of the Government's reply to the petitioners for comment. 8. On August 23, 1996, the Commission received the petitioners' comments on the Government's reply. To summarize, they allege that the slow and unproductive judicial process is proof that the State does not intend to clarify the facts regarding the guerrillas' disappearance. They also allege that Law Nº 9140 of 1995 is inadequate. On September 19, 1996, these observations were forwarded to the State. 9. On October 7, 1996, a hearing was held with the participation of the parties, at which the petitioners and the State presented their arguments regarding the petition's admissibility. 10. In a letter received on December 9, 1996, the petitioners requested information regarding the State's interest in seeking a friendly settlement in several cases in which it was involved, including this case. On December 13, 1996, the IACHR Secretariat reported that the State had not taken a decision regarding the possibility of reaching a friendly settlement in the aforementioned cases. 11. On January 10, 1997, the Commission received further documents and a request from the petitioners to include as co-petitioners the Committee of the Families of Those Who Died or Disappeared for Political Reasons of the Instituto de Estudos da Violência do Estado [Institute for the Study of State Violence] (IEVE) and Mrs. Angela Harkavy, sister of Pedro Alexandrino Oliveira, who disappeared in the Araguaia region. 12. On February 25, 1997, the Government forwarded further observations on the case, alleging that it should be closed as the State had already made reparation for the injury caused by the alleged violation. This information was forwarded to the petitioners on April 18, 1997. 13. On March 4, 1997, another hearing was held with the participation of the parties. At this hearing, arguments regarding the admissibility of the petition were again presented, and Mrs. Angela Harkavy, the sister of one of those who disappeared and a co-petitioner in this case, testified. The Commission placed itself at the disposal of the parties in seeking a friendly settlement, and gave 30 days for the parties to decide whether they wished to seek such a settlement. On that occasion, the petitioners presented written statements on the case, requesting it to be declared admissible. They added that the main demand of the families of the disappeared –to find out the circumstances in which they disappeared and where their bodies were buried– was not addressed by the measures taken by the State. 14. On March 6, 1997, the State transmitted further observations on the case, in the terms of its oral statement during the March 4 hearing and in reply to the petitioners' communication of that date. In its reply, the State requests that the case be closed. On March 19, 1997, copies of these State pleadings were sent to the petitioners. 15. On May 23, 1997, the petitioners submitted their reply to the observations of the State. They also attached the statements of one of the new co-petitioners, the Torture Never Again Group of Rio de Janeiro. The pertinent observations and documents were forwarded to the Government on June 3, 1997. The Government's reply was received on July 25, 1997, and forwarded to the petitioners on July 29, 1997. 16. On July 25, 1997, a note was received from the Government containing additional pleadings regarding the petition's admissibility and merits. In summary, it was also alleged that the State did not have more information than that supplied to the Special Commission established through Law Nº 9140 of 1995, that it had not violated its obligations arising under the American Convention, and that the State was “minimizing the effects” of the past violations. 2

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