Last Updated: Monday, 11 December 2017, 15:40 GMT

Amnesty International Report 2005 - Uruguay

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 25 May 2005
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2005 - Uruguay , 25 May 2005, available at: [accessed 12 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis 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.

Covering events from January - December 2004

Progress in bringing to justice those responsible for past human rights violations was slow. There were reports of torture and ill-treatment. Violence against women was a concern.


The October presidential election was won by Tabaré Ramón Vázquez Rosas from Frente Amplio, a left-wing coalition. He was due to take power in March 2005.


Limited action was taken to bring to justice those responsible for past human rights violations. President-elect Tabaré Vázquez promised to implement Article 4 of the 1986 Expiry Law. The article, which obliged the executive to order immediate investigations into any cases of "disappearance" referred to it by the courts, had never been enforced. However, taken as a whole, the Expiry Law sanctioned impunity by exempting from punishment police and military personnel responsible for human rights violations committed before March 1985, in blatant violation of Uruguay's international obligations.

  • Legal proceedings continued against former Minister of Foreign Affairs Juan Carlos Blanco for the unlawful imprisonment of Elena Quinteros Almeida who "disappeared" in 1976. Juan Carlos Blanco was also summoned to testify, together with former President Juan María Bordaberry, at the investigation into the murders of senator Zelmar Michelini and deputy Héctor Gutiérrez Ruiz in Argentina in 1976.
  • In September, three military officials appealed against a ruling that they should be extradited to Chile in connection with the kidnap and murder of Chilean national Eugenio Berríos. Eugenio Berríos, a biochemist and former military agent, "disappeared" in 1992. His body was found three years later.

Torture and ill-treatment

There were reports of torture and ill-treatment in prisons, children's detention centres and police stations.

Prison conditions

Conditions in several prisons, including those holding children, fell below internationally accepted standards. There were reports of serious overcrowding and inadequate food, water, lighting and heating.

Violence against women

One woman or girl reportedly died as a result of violence every nine days. Women's organizations were concerned that legislation on domestic violence was not being implemented.

Economic, social and cultural rights

A constitutional amendment was passed making access to clean water a right and declaring that water should not be classed as a commodity.

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