Uruguay: Information on the existence of a higher police body one can appeal to which treats cases of assault and death threats and on whether a victim can launch a civil suit against the perpetrators of such acts
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 May 1995|
|Citation / Document Symbol||URY20348.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Uruguay: Information on the existence of a higher police body one can appeal to which treats cases of assault and death threats and on whether a victim can launch a civil suit against the perpetrators of such acts, 1 May 1995, URY20348.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6abd86b.html [accessed 10 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Following is an unofficial translation of a letter in Spanish received by the DIRB from the national coordinator of the Servicio de Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ), Uruguay's main human rights organization with a consultative agency status in the United Nations.
There is no higher police body to which a victim of assault or death threats can complain or appeal. This type of crime is handled by the Fiscal Nacional Policial, a civil servant under the authority of the Minister of the Interior. Fiscal is the Latin American term equivalent of an attorney or a prosecutor.
SERPAJ has presented cases to the Fiscal. Some of these cases involved police abuses for which the Fiscal has suggested sanctions when warranted. Unfortunately, the application of sanctions remains in the hands of the Minister of the Interior and no cases are known to SERPAJ in which such sanctions have been applied.
During the last months of the previous government, the Fiscal has had its intervention powers/faculties reduced, and SERPAJ has doubts concerning the future of the Fiscal Nacional Policial institution.
SERPAJ's letter also states that it is possible for a victim to launch a civil suit against an agressor under the general norms that rule the State and its civil servants' responsibilities.
For information on the structure of the police forces and the penal system of Uruguay, please consult the attached document.
This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.
Servicio de Paz y Justicia, Montevideo, Uruguay. 12 May 1995. Letter sent to the DIRB from the National Coordinator.
World Encyclopedia of Police Forces and Penal Systems. Edited by George Thomas Kurian. New York: Facts On File Publications, pp. 468-469.