N° 72/10




Washington, DC, July 20, 2010 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in a case involving El Salvador.


On June 28, 2010, the IACHR filed an application in Case 12.517, Gregoria Herminica Contreras et. al., El Salvador. The case has to do with the forced disappearance of the children Gregoria Herminia, Serapio Cristian and Julia Inés Contreras, Ana Julia and Carmelina Mejía Ramírez and José Rubén Rivera between 1981 and 1983 by members of the military who conducted “counterinsurgency operations” in the context of the armed conflict in El Salvador. To this day, the whereabouts of Serapio Cristian and Julia Inés Contreras, Ana Julia and Carmelina Mejía Ramírez and José Rubén Rivera remain unknown. Regarding Gregoria Herminia Contreras, her whereabouts were established in 2006 and currently she is conducting a process of recovery of her identity and her relationship with her biological family. The circumstances that sorounded the six disappearances have not been clarified, the persons responsible have not been identified and sanctioned and, after almost 30 years, the acts remain unpunished. In its Merits Report, the IACHR concluded that the State violated the rights to life, to personal integrity, to personal liberty, to judicial guarantess and judicial protection, the protection of the family, the right to a name and the rights of the child. The case was referred to the Inter-American Court because the Commission believes the State did not comply with the recommendations contained in the Merits Report.


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 Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.


Useful links:

Admissibility Report 11/05, Petition 708-03, Gregoria Herminia, Serapio Cristián and Julia Inés Contreras, El Salvador

Admissibility Report 56/05, Petition 779-01, Ana Julia and Carmelina Mejía Ramírez, El Salvador

Admissibility Report 53/05, Petition 880-01, José Rubén Rivera, El Salvador

Audio Recording of the Public Hearing on Petition 880-01, José Rubén Rivera, El Salvador, which took place on July 20, 2009, during the 128 Period of Sessions

Applications filed by the IACHR to the Inter-American Court

IACHR Web site




Read this press release in Spanish / Lea este comunicado de prensa en español


Press contact: María Isabel Rivero
Tel. (202) 458-3867


To subscribe to the IACHR press release mailing list, please type your e-mail address in this form.