REPORT Nº 30/071
PETITION 438-06
ADMISSIBILITY
JUAN GELMAN, MARIA CLAUDIA GARCÍA DE GELMAN AND
MARIA MACARENA GELMAN GARCÍA IRURETAGOYENA
URUGUAY
March 9, 2007
I.

SUMMARY

1. On May 8, 2006, Maria Macarena Gelman Garcia Iruretagoyena (hereinafter “Maria
Macarena Gelman”) and Juan Gelman, represented by Dr. José Luis González and the Center
for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), (hereinafter, “the petitioners”), lodged on their own
behalf and on behalf of Maria Claudia García Iruretagoyena de Gelman (hereinafter “Maria
Claudia Gelman”) a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
(hereinafter, “the Commission”) against the Republic of Uruguay (hereinafter, “the State”) for
alleged violation of the following rights protected by the inter-American system: the right to
due process of law and judicial protection of the victims (Articles 1(1), 2, 8(1) and 25 of the
American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “American Convention”) and articles I(b),
III, IV, V and XII of the Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons
(hereinafter “Forced Disappearance Convention”) and articles 1, 6, 8, and 11 of the InterAmerican Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture (hereinafter “Torture Convention”); the
right to truth (Articles 1(1), 8, 13 and 25 of the American Convention); the general obligation
to investigate violations of the right to life, liberty and physical and psychological integrity and
to punish seriously and effectively such violations (Articles 1(1), 4, 5 and 7 of the American
Convention; Articles 6 and 8 of the Torture Convention and Articles I(b), III and VI of the
Forced Disappearance Convention); the right to personal integrity of Mr. Juan Gelman, his
family and Maria Macarena Gelman (Articles 1(1) and 5(1) of the American Convention); the
rights to special measures of protection for children, to the recognition of juridical personal, to
the protection of honor and dignity, to a name and to the protection of the family with regard
to Mr. Juan Gelman and his family and Maria Macarena Gelman (Articles 1(1), 3, 11, 17, 18
and 19 of the American Convention and Article XII of the Forced Disappearance Convention).
2. The acts that occurred between August 24, 1976 and April 19, 1985, the date of Uruguay’s
ratification of the American Convention, petitioners request be analyzed pursuant to the
American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (hereinafter “American Declaration”), at
which time petitioners contend that the State violated the following rights: the right life, liberty
and personal security (Article I), the right to a family and to protection thereof (Article VI), the
right to protection for mothers and children (Article VII), the right to recognition of juridical
personality and civil rights (Article XVII), the right to a fair trial (Article XVIII), the right to
protection from arbitrary arrest (Article XXV) and the right to due process of law (Article
XXVI).
3. The State’s responsibility for said violations is alleged to arise from the forced disappearance
of Maria Claudia Gelman, the suppression of the identity of Maria Macarena, the daughter of
Maria Claudia and Marcelo Gelman, the lack of effective judicial response as regards the rights
of the victims and their relatives and the torments suffered by the victims and their relatives
as a result of the events that purportedly occurred in this case.
4. As regards the admissibility of the complaint, the petitioners argue that the petition meets
all of the requirements contained in Article 46 of the Convention, except that of prior
exhaustion of domestic remedies. As regards exhaustion, the petitioners note that the
Uruguayan Amnesty Law (“Ley de Caducidad de la Pretensión Punitiva del Estado” - Ley Nº
15.848) closed off any possibility of judicial investigation into the majority of violations alleged
to have been committed by the military and police during the de facto government in Uruguay,
until the end of that government, on March 1, 1985. Despite the fact that President Tabaré
Vasquez permitted the criminal investigation of the disappearance of Maria Claudia Gelman,
1

Commission member Victor Abramovich, of Argentine nationality, did not participate in the review or voting on this
case in accordance with Article 17(2)(b) of the Rules of Procedure of the IACHR
1

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