IACHR Congratulates the State of Paraguay for Its Full Compliance with the Friendly Settlement Agreement Concerning Case 12,374—Jorge Enrique Patiño Palacios

September 20, 2022

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to declare full compliance with friendly settlement report 85/20, concerning Case 12,374—Jorge Enrique Patiño Palacios, Paraguay—and will stop monitoring it.

This case concerns the international responsibility of the Paraguayan State for violations of the human rights held in Articles 8 (fair trial) and 25 (judicial protection)—regarding Article 1 (obligation to respect rights)—of the American Convention on Human Rights against Jorge Enrique Patiño Palacios, who was 20 at the time and died of a gunshot wound after allegedly being shot by civilians. The petition further alleged a subsequent failure to investigate these events and punish the people responsible for them on the part of agents of the State, due to irregularities in the investigation efforts of police and judicial officers.

On November 30, 2012, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement that was approved by the IACHR on June 1, 2020. During the process to verify the implementation of this friendly settlement agreement, the Commission assessed action taken by the Paraguayan State to ensure compliance with the commitments it had made in the agreement. The Commission found that, to honor the memory of the young Jorge Enrique Patiño Palacios, the State had named after him a hearing room at the central court building and another at the Centro de Convivencia Pedagógica Ñemty run by the Department for Children and Adolescents, an institution in charge of providing education and healthcare to abandoned children and adolescents located in Reducto San Lorenzo.

The most relevant effects of this friendly settlement agreement include the provision by the State of training for criminal court judges, public prosecutors, and criminal investigation staff, in the form of a seminar on international due diligence standards to investigate, collect, and assess forensic evidence. This seminar was included in expert courses on State responsibility for negligence or malpractice by judicial institutions. The friendly settlement agreement was also posted on the websites of both the Foreign Ministry and the Judiciary, as well as published in the country's official journal. The State and the petitioning party further drafted a Protocol for Evidence Handling and Custody Interventions: A Legal Compilation in Force from 2020," approved by the Supreme Court of Justice, the Public Prosecutor's Office, and the Interior Ministry.

The Attorney General issued Resolution 1181, to approve the legal instruments integrated by the Public Prosecutor's Office into the Protocol for Evidence Handling and Custody Interventions, and also ordered that this Protocol be distributed to all public prosecutors' offices to ensure they apply it. Finally, this agreement led to the adoption by the National Police Command—which reports to the Interior Ministry—of Resolution 355, "Approving and integrating the Protocol for Evidence Handling and Custody Interventions."

The Inter-American Commission closely followed the implementation of the friendly settlement that was agreed in this case. The IACHR highly commended both parties on their efforts in negotiations and, later, during the monitoring stage of the friendly settlement agreement. Based on information provided by the parties during the monitoring process, the IACHR declared that full compliance had been attained, and consequently ended its supervision of compliance with this friendly settlement agreement.

The Commission commends the Paraguayan State on its efforts to solve cases that are taken before the petition and case system through its friendly settlement mechanism and congratulates it for its work to achieve the 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.

No. 209/22

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