Alternative report on the Implementation of the International Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or degrading Treatment or Punishment by the Argentina Republic

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This Report was prepared by
the “Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales” (CELS),
with the support of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

As will be detailed in this report, the torture situation in Argentina has worsened.

The Argentine State continues to fail in fulfilling its obligation to register and submit comprehensive information on all reports of torture or illegal harassment, which would enable a complete diagnosis with its accompanying characteristics to be made across the entire national territory. The available figures are incomplete and do not provide an accurate account of the real size of the problem. However, this does not stop us from observing a marked increase in the amount of torture and harassment occurring across the country. By way of example, it is worth mentioning that since its creation in September 2000, the Registro de Denuncias de Apremios y Malos Tratos Físicos o Psíquicos en perjuicio de Menores Tutelados [Register for reporting torture and physical or mental ill-treatment against minors] in the Buenos Aires province has continued to receive reports, totalling 3914 by mid-2004. On the other hand, trials initiated by the National and Federal authorities for crimes of harassment and torture increased 44% in two years between 2000 (807 trials) and 2002 (1164 trials).

In addition, reports from victims, relatives and witnesses reveal the systematic nature of these practices and their inter-relation with the routines of the State security forces. Victims describe torture methods, such as the "dry submarine" and electric shock tactics which are aberrant practices, that are then followed by threats and attacks to both the victims and witnesses or potential informers, such as lawyers representing the interests of the State.

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