REPORT No. 5/12
CASE 12.315
March 19, 2012



On July 30, 1999, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the InterAmerican Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received a petition from Sandra E. Arroyo
Salgado, a lawyer with the National Public Defender’s Office, on behalf of Carlos Alberto Fernández Prieto,
then 52, against the Argentine Republic (hereinafter “Argentina” or “the State”), in which attorney Patricia
A.G. Azzi, Official Public Defender in Mar del Plata, subsequently joined as co-petitioner.
On March 31, 2003, the Commission received a petition from attorney Eleonora Devoto,
Official Public Defender with the Argentine National Public Defender’s Office (hereinafter referred to jointly
with the above-mentioned persons as “the petitioners”) on behalf of Carlos Alejandro Tumbeiro. In
communications of October 31 and November 15, 2005, the National Public Defender’s Office asked the
IACHR to join Mr. Tumbeiro’s petition with Mr. Fernández Prieto’s petition, since both complaints involved
similar cases of illegal arrest and infringement of the rights to personal freedom, due process of law, privacy,
and freedom of movement within the national territory, as well as the principle of legality, representing
violations by the State of Articles I, V, XVIII, and XXV of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties
of Man and Articles 7, 8, 11, and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
American Convention” or “the Convention”), in conjunction with Article 1(1) thereof.
On September 24, 2007, the Commission forwarded Mr. Tumbeiro’s petition to the State
and informed it that, acting under Article 29(1)(d) of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission had decided
to join this petition with Mr. Fernández Prieto’s petition, sent to the State on August 8, 2000, because they
addressed similar facts. It informed the petitioners of its joinder decision on the same date.
The petitions indicate that Carlos Alberto Fernández Prieto and Carlos Alejandro Tumbeiro
were arrested on a public road without a warrant, the former on May 26, 1992 and the latter on January 15,
1998. The petitioners assert that both arrests were based solely on the alleged victims’ supposedly
suspicious behavior and that they were tried and convicted in criminal proceedings as a result of these
unlawful arrests.
The State maintains that the courts involved in Mr. Fernández Prieto´s case accepted the
legality of the police procedure after having duly considered the issues surrounding the existence or nonexistence of suspicious conditions validating his arrest. The State asserts that Mr. Fernández Prieto had all
the procedural rights and that the petitioners are petitioning the Commission to review domestic judgments
that were unfavorable to the alleged victim. In the view of the State, the case should therefore be declared
inadmissible. With respect to Mr. Tumbeiro’s case, the State did not present any arguments regarding its
admissibility and expressed interest in creating a space for dialogue with a view to a friendly settlement,
provided that it was divided from Mr. Fernández Prieto’s petition. In this connection, it should be noted that
the petitioners have asserted the importance of keeping the petitions joined, with the result that no friendly
settlement proceedings have been initiated.
After analyzing the positions of the parties, the Inter-American Commission concludes that
it is competent to rule on the claim submitted by the petitioners, which satisfies the provisions of Article 46
of the American Convention and is admissible under Articles 7, 8, and 25 thereof, in conjunction with Articles
1(1) and 2 of that instrument, but not with respect to Article 11. Accordingly, it decides to notify the parties,
to continue with the analysis of merits with respect to the aforementioned alleged violations, to publish this
report of admissibility, and to include it in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the OAS.

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