Chitay Nech et al. v. Peru
Indigenous Peoples | Right to Know the Truth | Obligation to Prevent
The Court stated that the analysis of a possible enforced disappearance should not focus on the detention, the possible torture, or the risk of losing one's life, as such an approach is fragmented. Instead, the focus should be on the group of facts which are presented in the case, taking into account relevant legal standards and jurisprudence.
The Court confirmed that the enforced disappearance aimed at suppressing the exercise of the political rights of the victim and the Mayan community, dismantling their political representation. The Court recalled that the State must regulate the exercise of these rights and their application under the principle of equality and non-discrimination, adopting measures that take account of the situation of vulnerability in which the members of specific sectors or social groups find themselves.
May 25, 2010
Article 1(1) [ACHR], Article 3 [ACHR], Article 4(1) [ACHR], Article 5(1) [ACHR], Article 5(2) [ACHR], Article 7(1) [ACHR], Article 8(1) [ACHR], Article 17 [ACHR], Article 22 [ACHR], Article 23(1) [ACHR], Article 25(1) [ACHR], Article 1(a) [IACFDP], Article 1(b) [IACFDP]
Articles not violated / not dealt with
Article 2 [ACHR], Article 21 [ACHR], Article 2 [IACFDP], Article 3 [IACFDP]
Facts of the Case
Mr. Florencio Chitay Nech, an indigenous Mayan Kaqchikel farmer, joined peasant movements in 1973 and began his political participation by joining the Christian Democracy Party. He became the municipal mayor of San Martín de Jilotepeque after elections took place following the enforced disappearance of the then-mayor. On 1 April 1981, after multiple threats, with his son as a witness, he was illegally placed in a vehicle by State agents or private individuals with the acquiescence of the State. This happened in a systematic context of selective enforced disappearances in Guatemala, targeting, among others, indigenous leaders. The disappearances aimed to dismantle all forms of political representation through terror, curtailing popular participation contrary to state policy. Following the disappearance, family members had to flee their community, which caused a rupture with their cultural identity, affecting their bond with their relatives, their language and their ancestral heritage.