REPORT Nº 60/03 1 PETITION 12.108 ADMISSIBILITY MARCEL CLAUDE REYES, SEBASTIÁN COX URREJOLA, AND ARTURO LONGTON GUERRERO CHILE October 10, 2003 I. SUMMARY 1. On December 17, 1998, a group consisting of "ONG FORJA," "Fundación Terram," the "Clínica Jurídica de Interés Público" of Diego Portales University, and "Corporación la Morada" (Chilean organizations); the Institute of Legal Defense of Peru (Peruvian organization); "Fundación Poder Ciudadano" and the Association for Civil Rights (Argentinean organizations); and Chilean legislative representatives (Diputados) Baldo Prokurica Prokurica, Osvaldo Palma Flores, Guido Girardi Lavín and Leopoldo Sánchez Grunert (hereinafter "the petitioners") submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Commission" or "the IACHR"). The complaint alleges violation by the State of Chile of Articles 13 (Freedom of Thought and Expression), 25 (the Right to Judicial Protection), and 23 (Right to Participate in Government) in relation to the overall obligations enshrined in Articles 1(1) (Obligation to Respect Rights) and 2 (Domestic Legal Effects) of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Convention") to the detriment of Marcel Claude Reyes, Sebastián Cox Urrejola, and Arturo Longton Guerrero (hereinafter "the victims"). 2. The petitioners allege that the State of Chile violated the right to freedom of expression and free access to state-held information, when the Chilean Committee on Foreign Investment omitted to release information about a deforestation project the petitioners wanted to evaluate. Also, the domestic courts' refusal to admit the subsequent case against the State allegedly constitutes a violation of the right to judicial protection. 3. The State of Chile argues that the actions of the Committee on Foreign Investment complied with the requirements of Article 13(1) and the response of the courts was thus proper. The State also argues that the petitioners failed to exhaust the remedies available in Chile before their recourse to the Inter-American Commission. 4. After reviewing the positions of the parties in the light of the admissibility requirements set out in the Convention, the Commission decided to declare the case admissible as it relates to the alleged violations of Articles 13 and 25 in relation to the general obligations enshrined in Articles 1 and 2 of the American Convention. II. PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION 5. The petition was received by the Commission on January 19, 1999. On February 15, the petitioners requested confirmation of the receipt of their petition and information about its status. On February 24, 1999, the Commission opened the case as case Nº 12.108, and sent the pertinent portions of the petition to the State, granting it 90 days to submit its observations. 1 Commissioner José Zalaquett, of Chilean nationality, did not take part in the discussion and voting on the present report, pursuant to Article 17(2)(a) of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission.