REPORT No. 1/16
CASE 12,695
MERITS
VINICIO ANTONIO POBLETE TAPIA AND FAMILY
CHILE
APRIL 13, 2016

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On May 15, 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter
“the Commission,” “the IACHR,” or “the Inter-American Commission”) received a petition filed by
Blanca Margarita Tapia Encina, Cesia Leyla Poblete Tapia, and Vinicio Antonio Poblete Tapia
(hereinafter “the petitioners”) 1 against the Republic of Chile (hereinafter "Chile" or "the State"),
related to the death of Mr. Vinicio Antonio Poblete Vilches, on February 7, 2001, at a public hospital
in the city of Santiago.
2.
The petitioners alleged that the death of Mr. Vinicio Antonio Poblete Vilches, in a
public hospital in Chile, was the responsibility of the attending physicians, who operated on him
without informing his family members or requesting their authorization, and who discharged him
after the operation without adequately taking into account his serious health problems. In addition,
they alleged that when he was admitted to the hospital the second time he did not receive the
treatment he needed. They said that they received contradictory information about the cause of
death and that they filed a criminal complaint against the attending physicians in 2001, which did not
satisfy the requirements of effective access to justice. They indicated that there has been
unwarranted delay by the court in carrying out the investigation into the facts and they also alleged
having been humiliated by the hospital staff and by the court involved in the matter.
3.
For its part, the Chilean State did not present observations in the merits phase. In
the admissibility phase the State had argued that Mr. Poblete Vilches’s family members filed a
criminal complaint that was found admissible and was going forward. It indicated that the
investigation was carried out in compliance with the guarantees established in Article 8 of the
Convention and is complex. The State also reported on the status of the investigations.
4.
After analyzing the parties’ positions the Inter-American Commission found the
State of Chile responsible for violating the rights to life, humane treatment, access to information on
health, judicial guarantees, and judicial protection, which are established at Articles 4, 5, 13, 8, and 25
of the American Convention, in relation to the obligations established at Article 1(1) of the same
instrument, to the detriment of the persons indicated throughout this report.
II.

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

5.
The processing of the petition from its presentation up to the adoption of the
decision on admissibility is described in Admissibility Report No. 13/09. 2 In that report, the IACHR
found that the alleged facts could tend to establish violations of the rights enshrined in Articles 4, 8,
24, and 25 of the American Convention, all in conjunction with Article 1.1 thereof.
6.
The Commission conveyed Admissibility Report No. 13/09 to the petitioners and
the State in a communication dated April 7, 2009, and, in keeping with Article 38.1 of its Rules of
Procedure in force at the time, set a deadline of two months for the petitioners to submit additional
1

During the processing different persons have been named as petitioners.

2 IACHR, Report No. 13/09, Petition 339-02, Admissibility, Vinicio Poblete Vilches, Chile, March 19, 2009.
Available at: http://www.cidh.oas.org/annualrep/2009sp/Chile339-02.sp.htm.

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