REPORT No. 3/16 CASE 12.916 MERITS NITZA PAOLA ALVARADO ESPINOZA, ROCÍO IRENE ALVARADO REYES, JOSÉ ÁNGEL ALVARADO HERRERA, AND OTHERS MEXICO1 2 APRIL 13, 2016 I. SUMMARY 1. 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). 2. 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 measures. 3. 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. 4. 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 Herrera.