REPORT No. 75/12
CASES 12,577, 12,646, 12,647, 12,667
MERITS
ROCHAC HERNÁNDEZ ET AL.
EL SALVADOR
November 7, 2012

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On September 11, 2003, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter
“the Inter-American Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received three petitions submitted
by the Asociación Pro Búsqueda de Niñas y Niños Desaparecidos (Asociación Pro Búsqueda) on behalf
of the children José Adrián Rochac Hernández (P 731-03), Emelinda Lorena Hernández (P 732-03), and
Santos Ernesto Salinas (P 733-03). On December 8, 2003, a fourth petition was received submitted by
the Asociación Pro-Búsqueda on behalf of Manuel Antonio Bonilla Osorio and Ricardo Ayala Abarca (P
1072-03).
2.
In the four petitions it was alleged that the Republic of El Salvador (hereinafter “the
Salvadoran State” or “the State”) is internationally responsible for the forced disappearance of the
children (hereinafter “the alleged victims”) between 1980 and 1982 during the internal armed conflict, and
for the subsequent failure to investigate, punish, and provide reparation as a result of those acts. In the
first stage of the proceeding the State staunchly disputed the petitions. Subsequently, in the merits phase
the Salvadoran State recognized responsibility for the facts, accepting the existence of a pattern of
disappearance of children during the armed conflict, as well as the facts alleged in the petitions.
3.
In Report No. 90/06, approved October 21, 2006, the Commission concluded that petition
731-03, referring to José Adrián Rochac Hernández, was admissible for the possible violation of the rights
established at Articles 1(1), 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 18, 19, and 25 of the American Convention. On March 5, 2008
the IACHR approved Reports Nos. No. 10/08 and 11/08, by which it declared the admissibility of petitions
733-03 and 732-01, with respect to Santos Ernesto Salinas and Emelinda Lorena Hernández,
respectively, for the possible violation of the rights established at Articles 1(1), 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 19, and
25 of the Convention. Subsequently, on July 25, 2008, by Report No. 66/08, petition 1072-03 with respect
to Manuel Antonio Bonilla Osorio and Ricardo Ayala Abarca was declared admissible for the possible
violation of the rights established at Articles 1(1), 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 19, and 25 of the Convention. The
four petitions were assigned the numbers 12,577, 12,647, 12,646, and 12,667, respectively. On April 29,
2010, the IACHR decided, pursuant to Article 29(d) of its Rules of Procedure then in force, to join cases
12,577, 12,647, 12,646, and 12,667.
4.
After analyzing the positions of the parties, the Inter-American Commission concluded
that the State of El Salvador is responsible for violating the rights to recognition of juridical personality, to
life, to humane treatment, to personal liberty, to family, to special protection for children, and to judicial
guarantees and judicial protection, established at Articles 3, 4, 5, 7, 17, 19, 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 José Adrián Rochac Hernández, Santos Ernesto Salinas, Emelinda Lorena Hernández,
Manuel Antonio Bonilla, and Ricardo Ayala Abarca. In addition, the Commission concluded that the State
was responsible for violating the rights to humane treatment, family, judicial guarantees and judicial
protection, to the detriment of the next-of-kin of the disappeared victims. Finally, the Commission
concludes that it has not been shown that the State violated the right enshrined in Article 18 of the
American Convention.
II.

PROCESSING BEFORE THE COMMISSION

PROCESSING AFTER ADMISSIBILITY REPORTS Nos. 90/06, 10/08, 11/08, 66/08
With respect to case 12,577 (José Adrián Rochac Hernández)

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