comments on the merits. In addition, in compliance with Article 48.1.f of the American Convention, it made itself available to the parties for reaching a friendly settlement. 7. The Commission received the petitioners’ comments on the merits of the case in communications dated May 11, 2009, and June 4 and 8, 2009. On July 22, 2009, in keeping with Article 38.1 of its Rules of Procedure in force at the time, those three submissions were forwarded to the State, with a period of two months for it to return its additional comments on the merits. 8. On June 2, 2009, the petitioners submitted a communication informing the Commission of their willingness to reach a friendly settlement; that was duly conveyed to the State, which, on September 16, 2009, presented information and requested an extension of the deadline. On January 28 and April 8, 2011, the petitioners indicated their wish to terminate the friendly settlement proceedings. On July 2, 2014, they expressed their intent to continue working for a friendly settlement; however, on August 14, 2014, they reported the State’s refusal to comply with the friendly settlement proposal. 9. On December 12, 2011, the petitioners reported the death of Mr. Gonzalo Poblete Tapia on December 4, 2011. 10. On December 9, 2014, the Commission asked the petitioners for additional information, and a reply was received from them on January 14, 2015. Specifically, the Commission requested information on the members of the close family who had suffered harm as a result of the alleged human rights violations in this case. 11. In addition to the formalities recorded in the previous paragraphs, the IACHR received information from the petitioners on the following dates: March 12, June 4, August 20, November 30, and December 9, 2009; January 25, June 3, July 21, and October 9, 2010; January 17, February 8, March 31, May 23, July 18, September 9 and 26, October 4, and December 14, 2011; January 12, February 14, 17, 22, and 23, March 15, 23, and 29, April 3, May 9 and 21, June 2, 26, and 29, August 1 and 13, September 3, 24, and 28, October 16, November 28 and 30, and December 21, 2012; January 4 and 29, February 13, March 18 and 20, April 10 and 18, June 18 and 22, July 1 and 17, August 12 and 21, September 27, and October 8, 25, and 28, 2013; January 9 and 17, February 10, 17, and 28, March 13, April 14 and 23, July 28, August 14, 15, 27, 28, and 29, September 8, 10, 22, and 23, and October 31, 2014; January 9, 14, and 28, February 4 and 25, March 4 and 31, April 7 and 22, July 16, September 15, and October 21, 2015. 12. Those communications with substantive contents and that were not identical to previous submissions were forwarded to the State. III. POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES A. Position of the Petitioners 13. The petitioners allege that on January 17, 2001, Mr. Vinicio Antonio Poblete Vilches was admitted to the Sótero del Río Public Hospital and that his death, on February 7, 2001, was the result of a series of actions and omissions by the physicians who attended to him and took decisions regarding his health. 14. They claim that Mr. Vinicio Antonio Poblete Vilches “was treated cruelly and tortured by the medical staff at the Sótero del Río Hospital” and that he was starved, tied up by his hands and feet to a bed with thick sensor cables, which hampered his blood circulation, sedated to keep him from waking, and spent most of his time naked, covered only by a sheet. They contend that the way the physicians treated the family was humiliating, that they were denied information on Mr. Poblete Vilches’s state of health, and that they were prevented from communicating with him. 2

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