REPORT No. 65/09
August 4, 2009


On June 14, 2006 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the Inter-American Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received
a petition submitted by Olga Flores Bedregal (hereinafter also “the petitioner”), representing
Mr. Juan Carlos Flores Bedregal (hereinafter also “the alleged victim” or “Mr. Flores
Bedregal”), alleging violation by the State of Bolivia (hereinafter also “Bolivia,” “the State,”
or “the Bolivian State”) of rights enshrined in Article 3 (recognition of juridical personality),
Article 4 (right to life), Article 5 (right to humane treatment), Article 7 (right to personal
liberty), Article 8 (right to a fair trial), and Article 24 (right to equal protection) as they relate
to Article 1.1 (obligation to respect and guarantee rights) of the American Convention on
Human Rights (hereinafter also “the American Convention,” “the Convention,” or “the ACHR”).
The petitioner alleged that in the context of the coup d’état led by Luís García
Meza, on July 17, 1980 her brother, Juan Carlos Flores Bedregal, was forcibly disappeared in
an attack on the Bolivian Workers’ Union (Central Obrera Boliviana – hereinafter also “the
COB”). She noted that the alleged victim was last seen at the facilities of the Army General
Staff, oppressive force of the period. She indicated that although relatives have petitioned
all judicial bodies as well as other branches of government, the events still go unpunished as
the circumstances of the disappearance have not been made clear, those responsible have
not been punished, and the mortal remains of Mr. Flores Bedregal have not been located. She
emphasized that there is a court order to declassify the army’s files, an order that has not
been carried out.
For its part, the State reported on internal procedures to investigate and
provide punishment for the events. It noted that former President Luís García Meza was
subjected to a trial of responsibilities (juicio de responsabilidades) that culminated in 1993
with a conviction against García Meza and his collaborators. The State indicated that later, in
1999, a criminal proceeding was filed against several persons regarding what had happened
to Juan Carlos Flores Bedregal. It noted that first and second instance decisions were issued
in this proceeding, with some of the accused being convicted and others acquitted, and that
the cassation appeal filed by the parties is now pending. The State asked the Commission to
take into consideration the complexity of the matter, the actions taken by judicial authorities
and family members, as well as the filing of different defensive motions by the accused.
After examining the positions of the parties in the light of the admissibility
requirements established in Articles 46 and 47 of the Convention, the Commission concluded
that it is competent to hear the complaint and that the petition is admissible based on the
alleged violation of rights enshrined in Articles 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 of the American Convention
as they relate to Article 1.1 of that instrument. By virtue of the principle of iura novit curia,
the Commission incorporated the possible violation of Articles 13 and 25 of the American
Convention and Articles I and III of the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance
of Persons. The Commission concluded that the petition is inadmissible in terms of the alleged
violation of Article 24 of the American Convention. As a result, the Commission decided to
notify the parties, to make this Admissibility Report public, and include it in its Annual Report.

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