17. With respect to the right to personal liberty, the petitioners claim that Walter Munárriz Escobar was detained arbitrarily and illegally by agents of the Peruvian State, as proven by the Office of the People’s Defender. 18. With regard to the rights of the family to truth and to personal integrity, the petitioners allege that over 17 years have gone by and the whereabouts of Walter Munárriz Escobar is still unknown, a situation that has inflicted severe suffering on the members of his family, who are still uncertain if he is alive or dead. B. Position of the State 19. The State reported that there is a National Human Rights Plan that seeks to ensure that these rights are effective throughout the public structure. It asserted that it is the intent of the State to investigate crimes against human rights, and especially those that are permanent, such as forced disappearance. It added that since the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued its judgment in the Barrios Altos case, the obligation to investigate has been carried out more effectively than it had in the past. It pointed out that said judgment refers to the fact that the obligation to investigate is an obligation of means and behavior and that the fact that the Peruvian State was unable to produce a satisfactory result, owing to the complexity of the matter in the case in point, does not mean that it failed to comply with said obligation. 20. In its early briefs, the Peruvian State declared that “in the present case, there is reasonable evidence that what is involved is a case of forced disappearance, irrespective of the persons who may be implicated in the commission of this crime. What can be presumed is that it was committed by State agents.” After the admissibility report was adopted, and as described further on, the State indicated that personnel of the National Peruvian Police implicated in the intervention involving the disappeared person, Walter Munárriz Escobar, had acted negligently by not applying Police Operating Procedure, but it maintained that there was no evidence proving the responsibility of the State in the disappearance of Walter Munárriz Escobar. 21. As regards the right to a fair trial and to judicial protection, the State held that the criminal process pursued into the disappearance of Walter Munárriz Escobar proceeded appropriately, leading to the acquittal of the defendants due to insufficient evidence, which does not rule out the possibility that at a given point in time, evidence may be presented to support the reopening of criminal proceedings. The State added that it availed itself of the remedies provided in the domestic jurisdiction in a timely manner, in an effort to determine the identity of the persons responsible for the disappearance of the alleged victim, and that the Supreme Court, based on the principles of presumption of innocence, indubio pro reo, and sufficient evidence, upheld the acquittal of the defendants. The State emphasized that the judicial proceeding was protected by the constitutional principle of res judicata. 22. It further maintained that the following rights were respected: the right to free access to a court of law; to conduct probatory and defense activities in adversarial proceedings on an equal footing; to obtain a decision based on the law; to have access to regulated means of judicial redress; and to observance of the principle of legality. 23. The State observed that “it can be noted that the personnel of the National Peruvian Police (PNP) who were involved in the intervention with the disappeared person, Walter Munárriz Escobar […] had acted negligently by not following the Police Operating Procedure, a reason for the investigation involving Walter Munárriz Escobar, as they did not issue any kind of document as a result of that intervention, to establish the responsibility and/or innocence of the detainee that would uphold his release and/or detention. They proceeded to grant him his freedom merely on the grounds of the failure of the injured parties to press charges at the time of the events.” Thus, the State reported that the police officers involved were subject to disciplinary sanctions of 6 and 20 days of simple arrest. 24. In subsequent filings regarding the right to life, to personal liberty, and to humane treatment, the State maintained that Walter Munárriz Escobar was not taken to the Lircay police station in an illegal or arbitrary manner, but at the request of the affected persons. It pointed out that once at the police station, he was not taken to a room or to a remote place where he could not be seen, so that he could be hidden and they 4

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