Gabriel Orlando Vera Navarrete

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Keywords: Judicial Protection | Systemic Practice | Relatives as Victims | Duty to Investigate | Guarantees Against Impunity | Crimes Against Humanity | Deprivation of Liberty

Themes: Characteristics of the Crime

The Court held that the State should not tolerate impunity for serious crimes and violations of human rights, in light of both an ethical obligation derived from the rule of law and of international instruments it ratified, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the American Convention on Human Rights. It stated that the failure to sanction such violations violates the right to judicial protection.

The Court found the rules of international humanitarian law relating to internal armed conflicts applicable to the present case and recalled that they prohibit actions that result in disappearance, as well as any threat to life and personal integrity. It recalled that ordering or carrying out acts aimed at making a person disappear are grave breaches of international humanitarian law, which the State is obliged to punish. The Court held that the crime of enforced disappearance affects the rights to freedom of movement, due process guarantees, physical integrity, recognition before the law, and effective legal protection. An enforced disappearance creates a cruel state of uncertainty both for the disappeared person and for their relatives, who become direct victims themselves, and must be considered as one of the most serious human rights violations. The Court further held that, when the act is committed as part of a general strategy or a pattern of similar behaviour, it amounts to a crime against humanity.

Judgment Date

December 9, 2004

Country

Peru

Judicial Body

Peru - Constitutional Court

Articles not violated / not dealt with

Article 200 [PC]

Facts of the Case

Mr. Hugo Muñoz Sánchez, Ms. Bertila Lozano Torres, Ms. Dora Oyague Fierro, Mr. Luis Enrique Ortíz Perea, Mr. Richard Armando Amaro Cóndor, Mr. Robert Edgar Teodoro Espinoza, Mr. Heraclides Pablo Meza, Mr. Felipe Flores Chipana, Mr. Marcelino Rosales Cárdenas and Mr. Juan Gabriel Mariños Figueroa were abducted at the National University in January 2003. Mr. Gabriel Orlando Vera Navarrete, member of the so-called "Colina Group", was accused of the crime and subjected to a detention order in the course of the proceedings. The latter, together with detention orders pertaining to other criminal proceedings in which he was involved, led to his detention for more than 36 months without having been convicted for a crime. For that reason, Mr. Navarrete filed a writ of habeas corpus for arbitrary detention to the Constitutional Court.

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