Torres Millacura et al. v. Argentina

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Keywords: Juridical Personality | Duty to Investigate | Obligation to Prevent

Themes: Persons and Groups Affected | Prevention | Related Crimes

The Court noted that, even when aiming at maintaining public order, improper action taken by State agents in their interaction with the individuals whom they should be protecting, represents one of the principal threats to the right to personal liberty. When this right is violated, it risks also causing the violation of other rights, such as the rights to humane treatment and, in some cases, to life. The Court considered that Mr. Torres Millacura was placed in a legal limbo which eliminate the possibility of him effectively exercising his rights. For the Court, this deprivation represented one of the most serious forms of non-compliance with the State's obligations to respect and guarantee human rights.

The Court noted that the police authorities forced Mr. Torres Millacura to undress and subjected him to beatings and threats to his life with firearms, forcing him to run into the brush to avoid an apparent execution by firing squad while he was under detention. For the Court, this clearly caused feelings of anguish and vulnerability and constituted an act of torture.

Judgment Date

September 26, 2011

Country

Argentina

Judicial Body

Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Articles violated

Article 1(1) [ACHR], Article 2 [ACHR], Article 3 [ACHR], Article 4(1) [ACHR], Article 5(1) [ACHR], Article 5(2) [ACHR], Article 7(1) [ACHR], Article 7(2) [ACHR], Article 17 [ACHR], Article 8(1) [ACHR], Article 7(4) [ACHR], Article 1(b) [IACFDP]

Facts of the Case

Mr. Iván Eladio Torres Millacura, 26 years old, was beaten and arrested by three police officers, subsequently taken to the First Police Station, stripped of his clothes and shoes, and beaten. After this, the police officers warned him that he should "run" to save his life, and proceeded to shoot him while he threw himself into the bushes to take refuge from the bullets. These events took place in a context of police abuses against young people of limited means.

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