REPORT Nº 94/06
PETITION 540-04
ADMISSIBILITY
INES FERNANDEZ ORTEGA 1 ET AL.
MEXICO
October 21, 2006
I.

SUMMARY

1.The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the Inter-American Commission” or “the
IACHR”) received a petition on June 14, 2004, alleging that the United Mexican States (“the
State,” “the Mexican State”) are internationally responsible for the illegal detention, rape and
torture of Inés Fernández Ortega (“alleged victim”), an indigenous person of the Tlapanec
Me`paa people, and for the lack of subsequent investigation of said facts. The petition was
lodged by the alleged victim, the Organización Indígena de Pueblos Tlapanecos AC.
(OIPT)[Indigenous Organization of Tlapanec Peoples] and the Centro de Derechos Humanos de
la Montaña “Tlachinollan” AC [“Tlachinollan” Human Rights Center of the Mountain]
(hereinafter, jointly, “the petitioners”).
2.The petitioners contend that the facts reported constitute violations of several rights
provided for by the American Convention on Human Rights (“the American Convention”): the
right to personal integrity (Article 5), the right to personal freedom (Article 7), the right to due
process (Article 8), the right to protection of the honor and dignity (Article 11), the right to
protection of the family (Article 17), the right to property (Article 21), the right to judicial
protection (Article 25), as well as the obligation of the State to respect and guarantee the
rights of persons under its jurisdiction (Article 1.1).They also contend that there has been a
violation of Articles 3, 4, 7, 8, and 9 of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention,
Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women “Convention of Belém do Pará,” and of
Article 2 of the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture. They maintain that
they have met all the admissibility requirements provided for by the American Convention.
3. The Mexican State, in turn, maintains that the Procuraduría General de Justicia Militar[Office
of the Attorney General for Military Justice] initiated anex officioinvestigation of the case; that
the local civil prosecutor disqualified himself, deferring to the military venue, and that neither
the alleged victim nor the witnesses appeared before the military prosecutor notwithstanding
that they were summoned on several occasions. It also maintains that the proceedings related
to the investigation to identify those responsible of the crime have not yet been exhausted.
4.Without prejudging on the merits of the case, the IACHR has concluded in this report that
the petition is admissible, in accordance with Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention.
Therefore, the Inter-American Commission has decided to notify the parties of this decision
and continue with the examination of the merits of the case regarding the alleged violation of
Articles 5(1), 7, 8(1), 11, 17, 19, 21 and 25 of the American Convention, in accordance with
the general obligation to respect and guarantee rights, provided for by Article 1 (1) of said
international instrument; of Article 7 of the Convention of Belém do Pará, and of Articles 1, 6,
and 8 of the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture. The Commission has
also decided to publish this report and include it in itsAnnual Reportto the General Assembly of
the OAS.
II.

PROCEEDINGS WITH THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION

5.The petition was received on June 14, 2004. The Commission forwarded the relevant parts of
the petition to the State on February 2, 2005, granting it two months to submit its
observations. The State requested an extension on April 1, 2005. On July 12, 2005, the State
responded to the observations of the petitioners. On July 18, 2005, the IACHR forwarded the
observations of the State to the petitioners.
6.After the filing of the petition, on January 10, 2005, a request was submitted to the
Commission for precautionary measures in favor of Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, one of the
petitioners in this case, and member of the Indigenous Organization of Tlapanec Peoples
1By express request from the victim, her complete name has been included in the petition.

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