Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 11:55 GMT

Amnesty International Report 2015/16 - Argentina

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 24 February 2016
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2015/16 - Argentina, 24 February 2016, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/56d05b79c.html [accessed 14 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.

Argentine Republic
Head of state and government: Mauricio Macri (replaced Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in November)

Women and girls faced obstacles in accessing legal abortions. Discrimination against Indigenous Peoples remained a concern. People suspected of committing crimes during the military dictatorship (1976 to 1983) stood trial. Reports of torture and other ill-treatment were not investigated.

BACKGROUND

The presidential elections dominated the political landscape during the year. Mauricio Macri was elected President after a second ballot on 22 November.

SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

The Ministry of Health published a new protocol for the implementation of legal abortions in line with a 2012 ruling by the Supreme Court. The protocol had not received ministerial endorsement by the end of the year. More than half of jurisdictions lacked comprehensive hospital protocols that would guarantee access to legal abortion when a pregnancy is the result of rape or poses a risk to the health or life of the woman or girl.

A woman from a deprived neighbourhood in Tierra del Fuego was released on bail after being charged in 2013 with having a clandestine abortion. She had faced restrictions in accessing a legal abortion in her locality. The outcome of the trial was pending at the end of the year.

RIGHTS OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE

In September, a well-known Argentinian LGBTI activist, Daiana Sacayán, was found dead in her apartment. She was the third transgender woman – after Marcela Chocobar and Coty Olmos – to have died in violent circumstances in one month. By the end of the year nobody had been charged over their deaths.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' RIGHTS

Although the Constitution recognizes the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their ancestral lands and to participate in the management of natural resources, these rights were rarely respected.

Félix Díaz, leader of La Primavera community (Potae Napocna Navogoh) in Formosa Province, continued to face criminal proceedings in three separate cases on charges dating from 2010 of illegal occupation of land, resistance to authority and theft. He denied the allegations. In June the defence called for the decision to try him for allegedly seizing land to be overturned. However, by the end of the year the decision was still pending.

In October, Relmu Ñamku, leader of the Mapuche community of Winkul Newen in Neuquén Province, was tried on disproportionate charges for resisting unlawful eviction from her ancestral territory. She was acquitted of the charge of attempting to murder a police officer. It was the first criminal trial in the region to include an intercultural jury and a simultaneous interpretation into Mapuzungun, the native language of the Mapuche.

TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE

Public trials were held for crimes against humanity perpetrated during the military regime between 1976 and 1983. There were eight new convictions, bringing the total number of those sentenced between 2006 and 2015 to 142.

There was little progress in bringing to justice those from the civil, business and legal sectors. According to the Public Prosecutor's Office, questions about responsibility remained even in cases where significant evidence had been gathered. To date, only one member of the judiciary and two businessmen have been convicted.

On 23 September, the Chamber of Deputies passed a bill to the Senate proposing the creation of a commission, with representatives from both the Chamber and Senate, to identify economic and financial interests that had colluded with the military dictatorship.

IMPUNITY

The investigation into the death in January of Alberto Nisman, prosecutor in the case of the 1994 attack on the Jewish Mutual Association of Argentina (AMIA) building in the capital, Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were killed, continued at the end of the year.

In August, the public hearing into the cover-up of the investigation into the 1994 AMIA attack began. Among those accused of the cover-up were a former judge and prosecutor and high-ranking officials, including former President Carlos Menem. The main case relating to the attack has been stalled since 2006 when a judge issued orders for the capture and extradition of eight Iranian nationals and a Lebanese national for questioning. Four of these orders remained in force and the subject of an Interpol "red alert". Iran refused the extradition requests for the eight Iranians.

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT

There were reports of the use of torture during arrest and in prisons in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe and Chubut. Methods included the use of electrified cattle prods, near-asphyxiation with a plastic bag or by submersion in water, and prolonged isolation.

Reports of torture and other ill-treatment were not investigated and Argentina still lacked a national system for recording information relating to reports of torture. There was no system in place to protect witnesses to torture. There were further delays in establishing the National System for the Prevention of Torture.

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