REPORT No. 3/16
CASE 12.916

APRIL 13, 2016


On June 26, 2011, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter the IACHR,
the Commission, or the Inter-American Commission) received a petition filed by the Women's Human Rights
Center (Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres―CEDEHM), the Human Rights Solidarity and Defense
Commission (Comisión de Solidaridad y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos―COSYDDHAC), Justice for our
Daughters (Justicia Para Nuestras Hijas―JPNH), and the Paso del Norte Human Rights Center (Centro de
Derechos Humanos Paso del Norte―CDHPN) (hereinafter the petitioners),3 representing Nitza Paola Alvarado
Espinoza, Rocío Irene Alvarado Reyes, and José Ángel Alvarado Herrera, as well as their next of kin, where it
was alleged that the United Mexican States (hereinafter also Mexico, the State or the Mexican State) violated
rights enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter also the American Convention or
the Convention).
The petitioners asserted that, on December 29, 2009, in the Ejido Benito Juárez, in the
Municipality of Buenaventura in the State of Chihuahua, a group of between eight and ten soldiers detained
Nitza Paola Alvarado Espinoza and José Ángel Alvarado Herrera while they were inside a motor vehicle
parked outside the house of a relative and subsequently they proceeded to arrest Rocío Irene Alvarado Reyes
when she was inside her mother's home. They indicated that, to date, they do not know the whereabouts of
the three persons indicated. The petitioners allege the absence of any effective investigation or due diligence
regarding these incidents, as well as international responsibility for a series of violations to the detriment of
the next of kin of the alleged victims. The petition was presented after a request for precautionary measures
that were granted on March 4, 2010 and subsequently presented to the Inter-American Court as provisional
The State indicated that it has taken a series of judicial steps aimed at finding the missing
persons, as well as prosecuting and punishing those responsible for the incidents. It pointed out that, in cases
of forced disappearance, investigations must follow a specific line of investigation but that the investigation
must be assessed as a whole taking into account that it involves an obligation to provide means rather than to
produce results, and not any omission by the State is a determining factor to establish its international
responsibility. In that respect, the State's response to the petition consisted essentially of informing about the
steps taken by the investigation internally.
After reviewing the positions of the parties, the Inter-American Commission concluded that
the Mexican State is responsible for violating rights enshrined in Articles 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 19, 22, and 25 of the
American Convention, in connection with the obligations set forth in Articles 1.1 and 2 of the same
instrument, of Articles I and IX of the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons
1 Pursuant to the provision of Article 7.2 of the Commission's Rules of Procedure, Commissioner José de Jesús Orozco
Henríquez, a Mexican national, did not participate in either the discussion or the decision of the present case.
2 Pursuant to the provision of Article 17.2 of the Commission's Rules of Procedure, Commissioner José de Jesús Orozco
Henríquez, a Mexican national, did not participate in either the discussion or the decision of the present case.
3 After the initial filing, in the brief of December 24, 2012, the petitioners requested that the following persons also be included
as petitioners: Patricia Reyes Rueda representing her daughter Rocío Irene Alvarado Reyes; María de Jesús Alvarado Espinoza
representing her sister Nitza Paola Alvarado Espinoza; and Rosa Olivia Alvarado Herrera, representing her brother José Ángel Alvarado

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