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. The Committee also asked the Government to fully comply with its obligation to carry out an integral and independent investigation of the causes and circumstances of the disappearance, and to enable the participation of the family of Mr. Maldonado in the search and investigation, in compliance with articles 12 and 24 of the Convention.
In compliance with the procedure of article 30, this initial petition for urgent action was followed by a series of exchanges between the Government of the State party, the authors of the Urgent Action request and the Committee.
The Committee was informed that a body was found in the river Chubut, which was identified on 20 October 2017 by a team of forensic experts as Mr. Santiago Maldonado. The family also recognized the body.
According to article 30 of the Convention, the “Committee shall continue its efforts to work with the State Party concerned for as long as the fate of the person sought remains unresolved. The person presenting the request shall be kept informed.” With the location and full identification of the body, the Committee considers the purpose of the urgent action that the “disappeared person should be sought and found” to be completed. It therefore decided on 23 January 2018 to close the Urgent Action request of reference.
The Committee, however, recalls 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;
- In case it is demonstrated that Mr. Santiago Maldonado was subject to enforced disappearance, to prosecute and punish the perpetrators accordingly and to ensure the right to reparation to the victims.