On December 23, 1971, Mr. José Carlos Trujillo Oroza, 21 years of age, was arrested without competent authority and transferred to the El Pari prison compound. Between January 15 and February 2, 1972, his mother, Gladys Oroza, visited her son daily and observed evidence of physical torture. When Ms. Oroza visited the prison on the afternoon of February 2, she was unable to see her son and received differing stories regarding his whereabouts. Ms. Oroza repeatedly attempted to learn more information until the prison director, Ernesto Morant, produced a radiogram ordering the liberation of Mr. Trujillo Oroza and three other men. It was subsequently established, however, that the Ministry of the Interior fabricated the radiogram to hide crimes committed against these three individuals. Ms. Oroza proceeded to file various petitions and complaints before the State's executive and legislative branches, but was unable to file a complaint before the courts due to political instability. Finally, on January 8, 1999, the State initiated a judicial investigation, but failed to take any action because it did not recognize forced disappearance as a crime. Although the case continued to sit before the Constitution and Judicial Police Committee, Ms. Oroza turned to the Inter-American Court to seek justice for her still-missing son. The Court found that the State violated the American Convention on Human Rights.
Case Summary: Trujillo Oroza v. Bolivia, Case Summary