University of Minnesota

CDH-CP11/99 English





The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in relation to the Castillo Petruzzi et al. Case, Judgment on the merits of 30 May 1999, against the State of Peru, clarifies the following issues:

1. That it did not order the release of the Chilean citizens implied in the said case. What the Court unanimously decided, was the following:

“declares the invalidity of the process against Jaime Francisco Sebastián Castillo-Petruzzi, María Concepción Pincheira-Sáez, Lautaro Enrique Mellado-Saavedra and Alejandro Luis Astorga-Valdez because of its incompatibility with the American Convention of Human Rights, and orders that a new trial in compliance with the due process of law be granted to them.”

“Evidently, we are not facing a prosecution that fulfills the minimum requirements of 'due process of law,' which is the essence of the judicial guarantees established in the Convention. Such circumstance motivates the invalidity of the process and deprives the Judgment of value; said Judgment does not meet the requirements so that it may subsist and produce the effects that regularly, a procedure of this nature brings within. It is the State's duty to perform -in a reasonable term- a new procedure that fulfills ab initio the requirements of the due process of law, performed before a competent tribunal (ordinary jurisdiction) and with the defendants' due guarantees of public hearing and defense. The Court does not declare about these persons' free on parole because it understands that the adoption of such preventive measure corresponds to the competent national tribunal.”

2. It did not order the State to indemnify the said Chilean citizens. What the Court unanimously decided was to order the Peruvian State to reimburse a total of US$10.000,00 to the victims' relatives that prove having incurred the equivalent legal fees and costs in the present case.

The composition of the Court is the following: Antônio A. Cançado Trindade (Brazil), President; Máximo Pacheco-Gómez (Chile), Vice-President; Hernán Salgado-Pesantes (Ecuador); Oliver Jackman (Barbados); Alirio Abreu-Burelli (Venezuela); Sergio García-Ramírez (Mexico) and Carlos Vicente de Roux-Rengifo (Colombia). The Secretary of the Court is Manuel E. Ventura-Robles and the Deputy Secretary, Renzo Pomi.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is an autonomous judicial institution of the Organization of American States, formally established in 1979. It is formed by jurists of the highest moral standing and competence in the area of Human Rights.

For further information, please address all requests to:

Manuel E. Ventura-Robles

Secretary, Inter-American Court of Human Rights

P.O. Box 6906-1000

San José, Costa Rica

Telephone: (506) 234-0581, Fax: (506) 234-0584


San José, 27 September 1999.

Footnotes / Pies de Página

(*) El contenido de este comunicado es responsabilidad de la Secretaría de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. El texto oficial de los documentos reseñados puede obtenerse mediante solicitud escrita dirigida a la Secretaría, en la dirección que se adjunta.

(*) The contents of this release are the responsibility of the Secretariat of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The official text of the documents may be obtained by submitting a written request to the Secretariat at the address provided at the end of this document.



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