IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to declare full compliance with Friendly Settlement Report 39/21, concerning Petition P-245-03—Walter Mauro Yáñez, Argentina—and will stop monitoring it.
This case concerns the Argentine State's international responsibility for the homicide of Walter Mauro Yáñez on March 11, 2001, at the hands of an infantry officer deployed at a police station in Mendoza. The officer allegedly shot four individuals, including the victim, without the required warning ("Stop, Police!"), after the group allegedly broke into a building owned by the officer. The petitioners alleged that the Argentine State had violated the rights protected in Articles 4 (right to life), 8 (right to a fair trial), and 25 (right to judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights, since judicial proceedings launched in this case had been unduly stretched and rejected at all stages.
On July 29, 2020, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement that was approved by the IACHR on March 19, 2021. During the process of monitoring the implementation of this agreement, the Commission commended the Argentine State on the action it took to ensure compliance with the commitments it had made. The IACHR found that the State had held a public event where it apologized to the victim's family for the suffering it had caused them, paid financial compensation for material damage, and paid the costs and fees the victim's family had incurred in to pursue this petition.
The most relevant impact of this agreement includes the creation of a Human Rights Unit at the public prosecutor's office, in charge of preliminary criminal investigations in crimes committed by members of law enforcement agencies and prisons officers, as well as the adoption of continuing training on human rights for members of law enforcement agencies and prisons officers.
The Inter-American Commission closely followed the implementation of this friendly settlement and commended both parties on their efforts in negotiations and during the monitoring stage of the agreement. Based on information provided by the parties during the negotiation and monitoring process, the IACHR declared that full compliance had been attained and ended its supervision of compliance with this friendly settlement agreement.
The Commission commends the Argentine State on its efforts to solve cases that are taken before the petition and case system through the friendly settlement mechanism and on its work to achieve full implementation of this friendly settlement agreement. The IACHR further congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to contribute to improving the friendly settlement procedure.
A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.