Maldonado: UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances closed urgent action and requested exhaustive, impartial investigation

The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances closed its urgent action that had requested the Argentine government to search for and find Santiago Maldonado, while reminding the state of its obligation to guarantee an exhaustive, impartial and independent investigation.

On December 22, 2017, we submitted a document to the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, following the urgent action that we had requested on August 5 to encourage the state to take urgent measures to search for and locate Santiago Maldonado.

In the document sent in December to the Committee, we maintained that “if the Committee determines that this action must be closed since Santiago’s body has been located, we understand it is essential that other bodies of the Universal System of Human Rights monitor the investigation of his disappearance and death, and in particular, the grave context in which it occurred, intensified after another episode of institutional violence in response to indigenous people’s territorial claims in Argentina: the death of Rafael Nahuel in Villa Mascardi, Argentina’s Patagonia region.”

Today, the Committee announced it was closing the action. In its statement, it recalled that “on August 7 of 2017, The Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) sent a petition for urgent action to the Government of Argentina, according to art. 30 of the Convention for the Protection of all Persons against Enforced Disappearance, requesting for immediate action to search and locate Mr. Santiago Maldonado who had, according to information received by the Committee, disappeared during or after clashes between security forces and demonstrators in the Chubut province.”

Given the circumstances in which Santiago Maldonado went missing and was found almost three months later, the Committee reminded the Argentine state that “the location of Mr. Santiago Maldonado does not release the State party from its conventional obligation:

-To carry out an exhaustive and independent investigation of the circumstances of Mr. Santiago Maldonado’s disappearance from 1 August 2017 to 20 October 2017;

-To guarantee the full participation of the family of Mr. Maldonado and their representatives in the investigation;

-To protect the family and their representatives from all forms of pressure, acts of intimidation or reprisal,” among other responsibilities.