1. The following
denunciation was made in a communication of May 29, 1977:
AZUCENA SOSA DE FORTI, C.I. 9.728.076 P.F., and five children, detained
2/18/77 Ezeiza, who had boarded an Aerolineas Argentinas plane, flight
284 to Venezuela. Documentation in order. Pilot of plane, immigration
official, took them off the plane because of problem with documentation.
Detained by group of individuals in civilian clothes, armed, driving
sedan automobiles. Imprisoned seven days without charge. Children
separated from mother, abandoned in city of Buenos Aires, informed that
their mother was taken to Tucumán. Whereabouts of mother unknown".
2. In a telegram
of June 13, 1977, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of this
denunciation to the Government of Argentina, and requested it to provide
the corresponding information.
that competent national authorities have no record of detention of Mrs.
Nélida Azucena Sosa de Forti. Efforts are underway to determine her
whereabouts. Any further information on the matter will be reported
4. The pertinent
parts of the Government's response were transmitted in a letter dated
June 27, 1977 to the complainant and comments were invited on the reply.
5. In a note of
June 30, 1977, the Commission acknowledge receipt of the information
provided by the Government, and transmitted the following additional
information to the Government.
Nélida Azucena Sosa de Forti an Argentine citizen, C.I. 9.728.076 P.F.,
was detained on February 18, 1977 in the international airport of
the day indicated, Mrs. de Forti and her five children, 'arrived at the
airport ... at approximately 7:34 a.m., went through all the
pre-embarkation procedures such as emigration and her many suitcases
with no problem, and boarded flight Nº 284 Aerolineas Argentinas, to
Venezuela leaving at 9:00'.
had all the necessary documents, including parental consent, and the
visa which had been officially communicated to the Venezuelan Consulate
in Buenos Aires on February 14, 1977 in official telegram Nº 003410.
they were settled in their seats on the plane, at approximately 8:45 ...
the announcement was made that Alfredo Forti (her 16-year old son) was
asked to come to the cabin. The son went forward and was received by the
Captain, the emigrations official that had dealt with him a few moments
earlier in the airport, the flight attendant and one more uniformed
pilot asked him about his father and he explained that his father was in
Venezuela awaiting the arrival of the family. The pilot then asked him
to call his mother and the son returned with her. The pilot explained to
the mother that she would not be able to travel because 'there was a
problem with the documentation'.
pilot told them 'that he would proceed to disembark them with their
baggage. This was done and they were taken back into the same bus that
had taken them to the plane along with the other passengers. A group of
individuals, who were in civilian clothes, although armed, were waiting
for them in the bus. They were taken to the public vehicle entrance and
transferred to two sedan cars.'
an abandoned road the six were taken out of the cars and their eyes
blindfolded. They then were taken to a kind of prison establishment,
where they remained for seven days. At no time was any reason given for
their incarceration, or was any authorization shown.
the seventh day, the children were taken from their mother and abandoned
in the city of Buenos Aires, close to a house that they knew. As on the
previous occasion, they were blindfolded. Before they were left, the
person whom the others treated as their leader informed them that their
mother would be taken to Tucumán and that she would be reunited with
them in a week.
further news has been received of the mother's whereabouts since that
time, nor of the reason for her detention, the causes behind it, nor of
the authorities that ordered it and that still deprive her of her
freedom. All the efforts of Cáritas en Venezuela and of the Venezuelan
Embassy in Buenos Aires to ascertain her whereabouts have been
an arrangement was made through the Embassy of Venezuela to transfer the
children to Venezuela where they are now with their father, a surgeon,
who is in the service of the Government of Venezuela."
6. In a
communication dated 15 July 1977, the person making the denunciation
challenges the reply from the Government of Argentina in the following
is no doubt at all that Nélida Sosa de Forti was detained by official
security agencies, because they had to pass through at least five
military control points in order to get to the airport, and some more
within Ezeiza airport before reaching the plane; a uniformed armed
official made them leave the plane in the presence of Captain Gómez
Villafañe, to whom it is assumed he identified himself. Moreover, the
international airport of Ezeiza is under military control and the
captain of a plane cannot be uninvolved in such an operation.
on the airplane was Mr. Juan Galli Coll, a senior official of the
Ministry of the Treasury of Venezuela, who is ready to testify that he
was a witness to the occurrence. Mr. Daniel Mazzola, an Argentine
citizen who was on a business trip was also on board.
uniformed, armed official told Mrs. Forti that there was warrant for her
arrest from Tucumán, which is further proof that she was detained.
point that should be taken into account is the fact that when the
children were brought by a Venezuelan priest, who made the trip for this
purpose, they were under Federal Police escort and despite the fact that
they identified themselves, entry was not easy, which proves that, in
fact, only officials of the Armed Forces or Federal Police could have
7. In a note of
September 29, 1977, the Government of Argentina replied to the request
for information, again failing to refer to the statements made in the
pertinent parts of the denunciation:
Persons on whom there are no records of detention and who are subject of
a police search conducted by the Ministry of the Interior.
Sosa de Forti, Nélida Azucena."
8. In notes dated
October 12 and November 10, 1977, the complainant repeats his accusation
with regard to the Government's reply, and reports that he has
unofficially learned that Mrs. Forti is being detained in Villa Devoto
jail in Buenos Aires.
9. In a
communication dated February 7, 1978, the Commission transmitted to the
Government of Argentina the pertinent parts of the observations made by
the complainant. The Government to date has not replied.
In a communication dated May 16, 1978, the person filing the
complaint sent a new detailed declaration to the Commission, giving
background information about the detention; an account of the six days
during which the family was detained; photocopies of all the documents
related to the trip, and diagrams of the place where the incident
occurred reconstructed by one of the persons who had been detained.
The Commission has in its possession declarations made by
eyewitnesses to the detention aboard the Aerolineas Argentina plane, and
a statement from the person who had the Forti children transferred to
In a communication dated September 26, 1978, the Commission
transmitted to the Government of Argentina the pertinent parts of the
additional information, and of the aforementioned declarations. The
Government of Argentina has not responded to this request either.
1. In the light of
the preceding information and of the documents in the possession of the
Commission, there exists proof as to the circumstances, the place, the
time and the procedure used in the detention of Mr. Nélida Azucena Sosa
de Forti and five of her children, from which it is deduced that the
detention took place in public in the International Airport of Ezeiza by
authorities of the Argentine Government;
2. The evidence in
the possession of the Commission indicated the truth of the events;
3. Despite the
foregoing, the Government of Argentina has not responded to date to the
events specifically denounced.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
1. That there is
sufficient evidence to show that Mrs. Nélida Azucena de Forti and her
children were illegally detained by agents of the Argentine Government
on February 18, 1977, and that Mrs. Forti still remains disappeared.
2. To declare to
the Government of Argentina, that these events constitute very serious
violations to the right to life, liberty, and personal security (Article
I); the right to a fair trial (Article XVIII); the right to protection
from arbitrary arrest (Article XXV); and the right to due process of law
( Article XXVI) of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of
3. To recommend to
the Government: a) that it take immediate measures to release Mrs. Nélida
Azucena Sosa de Forti; b) that it sanction, in accordance with Argentine
law, those responsible for the events denounced; c) that it undertake a
complete, impartial investigation of the events denounced, and d) that
it inform the Commission within a maximum of 30 days, as to the measures
taken to implement the recommendations contained in this Resolution.
4. To forward this
Resolution to the Government of Argentina and to the complainant.
5. To include this
Resolution in the Annual Report to the General Assembly of the
Organization of American States, pursuant to Article 9 (bis), paragraph
c. iii of the Statute of the Commission.
at the 605 meeting, November 18, 1978 (45th Session), and forwarded to