Residents of the village of chichupac and neighboring communities, municipality of rabinal



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B. The State





  1. The State did not refute the facts alleged by the petitioners. To the contrary, the State acknowledged its international responsibility in the present case in the terms indicated below.




  1. Nevertheless, it maintained that judicial inquiries were being conducted to ascertain the facts and determine the corresponding responsibilities. As for the time that the investigations have taken, it maintained that “the causes of the delay in the proceedings will continue to be investigated.” As for the alleged forced disappearances, the State underscored the fact that at the time the events occurred, forced disappearance was not criminalized in Guatemalan law. It argued, therefore, that for the episodes of forced disappearance alleged by the petitioners, under the Guatemalan Constitution no one could be brought to trial charged with a crime of forced disappearance.




  1. It added that the alleged victims and their next of kin could apply for the National Reparations Program, whose “mission is to bring dignity to the civilian victims of the internal armed conflict, in a manner that respects their cultural identity, and thereby contribute to society’s reconciliation.” It stressed the fact that the alleged victims’ next of kin could apply for the PNR since the facts denounced are mainly based on the Report of the Recovery of the Historical Memory Project. It maintained that the PNR has 14 regional offices, one of which is in the municipality of Rabinal, in which the village of Chichupac and neighboring communities are located. It added that Chichupac villagers have filed 52 applications with the PNR. It also pointed out that the alleged victims’ family members who have already received a sum of money under the PNR are not eligible for any further compensation since “two payments cannot be made for the same reason.”




  1. It also observed that former members of the PAC are not eligible to receive any type of compensation under the PNR since, “they served (…) as collaborators of the National Army during the armed conflict, in the sense that within the communities they enforced the control being exercised over the civilian population.” It indicated that compensation has been paid under a payments program for former members of the Civil Self-Defense Patrols.




  1. The State also pledged “to make all the necessary inquiries to determine whether skeletal remains have been recovered or identified at the sites indicated by the petitioners.”




  1. In its last two briefs, the State presented arguments apropos of the case’s eventual referral to the Inter-American Court, and specifically argued: i) the Court’s lack of contentious jurisdiction to take up the present case; and ii) the Court’s lack of competence in the instant case to interpret and apply the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons.



IV. THE MERITS




A. The Guatemalan State’s acknowledgement of responsibility





  1. On July 28, 2011, the State of Guatemala acknowledged its international responsibility in the following terms:

The Guatemalan State hereby declares that it acknowledges its international responsibility for the violations alleged and substantiated by the petitioners in the present case, for the period between the time the violations were committed and up to the present day and with respect to the victims who have been fully identified and the violation of whose rights has been proven in cases brought before the institutions of national justice, and with respect to the identified victims documented in the Report of the Commission for Historical Clarification




  1. The Commission appreciates the Guatemalan State’s acknowledgement of responsibility. After examining the Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH) report and piecing together the facts of this case, the Commission observes that the State’s acknowledgement of responsibility is with reference to at least the following:




  • The massacre in the village of Chichupac on January 8, 1982 (infra, paragraphs 72-82);

  • The detention and disappearance of Depaz Siprian (or Florencio Depaz Cipriano) and the detention of Ciriaco Galiego López on January 8 and 9, 1982 (infra, paragraphs 103-104);

  • The disappearance of Leonardo Cahuec González on January 18, 1982 (infra, paragraphs 110-111);

  • The detention and execution of Gorgonio González González, Gabino Román Yvoy and Eustaquio Ixtecoc on November 26, 1982 (infra, paragraphs 125-127), and

  • The execution of Rosa González Tecú, Enriqueta Tecú, Luciano Alvarado Xitumul, Héctor Rolando Alvarado García, Adela Florentina Alvarado García, Luciana Xitumul Ixpancoc, María Concepción Xitumul Xitumul and a baby girl, name unknown, on March 2, 1983 (infra paragraph 128).




  1. From the wording of the acknowledgement of responsibility, the Commission observes that it also includes those cases for which cases have been opened with the “institutions of national justice.” In addition to the names listed in the preceding paragraph, the Commission would submit the following account of the facts pertaining to the cases for which complaints have been filed and a case file has been opened, so that they, too, might be included in the acknowledgement of responsibility.




  1. Based on the foregoing, the Commission accords legal effects to the State’s acknowledgement of responsibility.




  1. Bearing in mind the need to help reconstruct the truth and the reparative effect that clarification of the facts has for the next of kin, the Commission will now proceed to describe the context, the facts of the case and their legal consequences in light of the American Convention. In ascertaining the facts, the Commission will take the available evidence into account and give particular consideration to the State’s acknowledgement of responsibility.



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