Algunas notas sobre el fallo Fontevecchia y D’Amico vs. Argentina por la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

– Por el Dr. Lautaro Ezequiel Pittier –

En un sorprendente fallo la  mayoría de la Corte Suprema de Justicia (integrada por Lorenzetti, Highton de Nolasco, Rosenkrantz y Rosatti) en la causa “Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto s/ informe sentencia dictada en el caso “Fontevecchia y D´Amico vs. Argentina por la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos” estableció un estándar interpretativo regresivo del art. 75 inciso 22 párrafo segundo de la Constitución argentina que rompió la lógica de sus precedentes, trituró los alcances del control de convencionalidad interno, colocó al Estado argentino en una posición delicada frente al sistema de protección convencional americano de derechos humanos, debilitó la fuerza normativa de los derechos humanos y vació de contenido el “núcleo ideológico” de la reforma constitucional de 1994.

Pero para poder entender un poco el caso repasemos brevemente de que se trata:

En 1997 un juez de primera instancia en lo civil rechazó la demanda interpuesta por el señor Menem. La sentencia fue apelada y en 1998, la Cámara Nacional de Apelaciones en lo Civil de la Capital Federal revirtió la decisión y condenó a la editorial y a Jorge Fontevecchia y Hector D’Amico a pagar la suma de la suma de $150.000,00 (PESOS CIENTO CINCUENTA MIL). Los demandados interpusieron un recurso extraordinario federal. En el año 2001 la Corte Suprema confirmó la sentencia recurrida aunque modificó el monto indemnizatorio, reduciéndolo a la suma de $60.000,00. (PESOS SESENTA MIL).

Con la instancia interna agotada, luego del trámite ante la Comisión Interamericana y elevado el caso a la Corte Interamericana, donde lleva la carátula “Fontevecchia y D´Amico” que eran respectivamente propietario y director de “Noticias” la Corte se concluyó que la revelación de la revista estaba justificada por tratarse Menem de una figura pública política, que la condena civil había sido un cercenamiento a la libertad de expresión, y se condenó al Estado Argentino.

Para cumplir esa condena, el Estado debía hacer tres cosas:

  1. dejar sin efecto la condena civil impuesta a Jorge Fontevecchia y Héctor D’Amico, así como todas sus consecuencias;
  2. publicar un resumen oficial de su sentencia elaborado por la Corte Suprema, por una sola vez, en el Diario Oficial y en un diario de amplia circulación nacional, así como publicar la sentencia completa de la Corte Interamericana en la página del Centro de Información Judicial de la Corte Suprema, y
  3. entregar a los periodistas las sumas reconocidas en dicho fallo (devolverles el dinero que habían pagado por la condena, más los gastos que tuvieron que hacer por el juicio)

Estando cumplido el punto b y el punto c “en vías de cumplimiento”, el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores le pide a la Corte Suprema que haga lo suyo, el cumplimiento de a, cosa que la Corte no hará.

La Corte sorpresivamente decidió hacer caso omiso a toda la jurisprudencia de la CSJN, sin referencia alguna y como si no haya existido. Así, ha puesto en crisis ese punto hace tambalear todo el sistema para la Argentina y está en juego la posición misma de la Constitución con relación a los tratados, y las expresiones del párrafo segundo del inciso 22. En tal sentido, surge una gran incógnita para el futuro.  Si es así en un caso de libertad de expresión ¿qué dirán en uno de libertad personal?.

La Corte además parece creer que es un Superpoder del Estado. Una parte del mismo sin conexión con los otros poderes.  Recordamos que el Estado está obligado internacionalmente a lo que voluntariamente firmó, ratificó internacionalmente.

El primer argumento que esbozó la mayoría de la Corte Suprema de Justicia fue sostener que la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos no había actuado dentro del marco de competencias establecido por la Convención Americana sobre Derechos Humanos. En otras palabras, la Corte Suprema de Justicia realizó una interpretación de los alcances de la Convención Americana de Derechos Humanos sin ser el órgano habilitado a tal efecto.

Luego, el argumento señalado por la Corte por el cual el sistema de protección internacional tiene un carácter subsidiario y no constituye una “cuarta instancia” que revisa o anula decisiones jurisdiccionales estatales.  Aclaremos que el carácter subsidiario se vincula con la necesidad de darle primero una oportunidad a los órganos estatales para que cesen y reparen en sede interna las violaciones a los derechos humanos, pero si esto no sucede, entonces comienza a funcionar el sistema de protección trasnacional.

Que el sistema no sea una “cuarta instancia” implica que los órganos de interpretación y aplicación de los Instrumentos Internacionales sobre Derechos Humanos no revisan sentencias a la luz del ordenamiento jurídico nacional, sino que su labor, se realiza evaluando la compatibilidad o incompatibilidad de la conducta estatal denunciada conforme el ordenamiento convencional internacional vigente.

En su derrotero argumental la mayoría de Corte arguye acerca de lo que llama “margen de apreciación nacional” es un estándar que proviene del derecho convencional europeo que se opone al estándar de la fuerza normativa de la convencionalidad interpretada y aplicada que viene desarrollando la jurisprudencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos.  Por lo cual la Corte se aparta gravemente y en forma regresiva a lo ya sentado por el Sistema Americano del que Argentina forma parte.  Se trata de una lamentable y triste vuelta al dualismo una regresión insostenible de la fuerza normativa de la convencionalidad aplicada como solución madura de un sistema progresista que comprendió que los derechos humanos son una respuesta que pone limites al ejercicio abusivo del poder del Estado.

Nota aparte merece el desdichado artículo 27 de la Constitución Nacional al que le han hecho decir cosas que no dice.  Máxime teniendo en cuenta que el viejo artículo 27 desde la Reforma de 1994 se lee en consonancia con el artículo 75 inc. 22.

En su lacónico y determinante argumento la Corte implica la desaparición del art. 75.22. segundo párrafo como la regla de reconocimiento del Estado constitucional y convencional de derecho. Este fallo impone una jerarquía apriorística dura según la cual siempre la Constitución tendrá más jerarquía que los Instrumentos Internacionales con jerarquía constitucional o sin ella.

Conforme a dicho argumento jamás hubieran existido los casos “Simón” y “Mazzeo” y los actuales procesos penales sobre delitos de lesa humanidad comienzan a tener una dolorosa precariedad.

Conforme a dicho argumento nunca hubieran existido los casos “Espósito, Miguel Angel”, “Derecho, Rene” y “Arillaga” y no se hubieran investigados casos de tortura o bien nunca hubiera existido el caso “Acosta” y no se hubiera mantenido bajo prisión preventiva a personas acusadas de cometer delitos de lesa humanidad. O nunca Carranza Latrubesse y Mohamed hubieran visto reparados sus derechos.

Finalmente, en soledad y absoluta minoría el voto de Maqueda como lo dictaminado  la Procuración resulta correcta, ya que mantuvo la postura fijada en sus votos en los casos “Cantos” (2003), “Espósito” (2004), “Derecho” (2011), “Carranza Latrubesse” (2013) y “Mohamed” (2015), según la cual a partir de la reforma constitucional de 1994, las sentencias de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos dictadas en causas en que la Argentina es parte deben ser cumplidas y ejecutadas por el Estado y, en consecuencia, son obligatorias para la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación.

Queda entonces ahora esperar la reacción de la Corte Interamericana cuando supervise el cumplimiento de la Sentencia.


Referencias del autor

Abogado, Director de Asuntos Jurídicos de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Nacional de Lomas de Zamora; Director del Instituto de Derechos Humanos del Colegio de Abogados de Lomas de Zamora; Docente Adjunto de Derechos Humanos, Facultad de Derecho UNLZ.

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