Members of Chichupac Village and Neighboring Communities of the Municipality of Rabinal v. Guatemala

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Keywords: Right to Know the Truth | Evidence | Children/Youth | Systemic Practice | Indigenous Peoples

Themes: Related Crimes | Characteristics of the Crime | Persons and Groups Affected | Justice and Truth

The Court analysed the situation of 81 persons whose enforced disappearance was alleged. It found that enforced disappearance could not be established for 59 of these persons, including due to the fact that there did not appear to have been any attempt by State agents to conceal their death, to erase all traces of the bodies to prevent their identification, to prevent their fate and whereabouts from being established, or to eliminate evidence of what happened. The Court recalled the difference between extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, and their nature as independent and separate human rights violations.

The Court further recognised that the population had been forcibly displaced after the events and was afraid to return due to the lack of State guarantees. This had an impact on the preservation of the ethnic and cultural identity of the community, which placed them in a situation of special vulnerability. This was exacerbated in the case of women, who were left vulnerable to further violence and who were responsible for searching for their relatives. The vulnerability of children was also exacerbated, particularly those who were born as a result of rape.

Judgment Date

November 11, 2016

Country

Guatemala

Judicial Body

Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Articles violated

Article 1(1) [ACHR], Article 3 [ACHR], Article 4(1) [ACHR], Article 5(1) [ACHR], Article 5(2) [ACHR], Article 7 [ACHR], Article 8(1) [ACHR], Article 17(1) [ACHR], Article 22(1) [ACHR], Article 25(1) [ACHR], Article 1(a) [IACFDP], Article 1 [IACPPT], Article 6 [IACPPT], Article 8 [IACPPT], Article 7(b) [IACPPEVW]

Articles not violated / not dealt with

Article 12 [ACHR], Article 16 [ACHR], Article 24 [ACHR]

Facts of the Case

The case refers to a massacre perpetrated on 8 January 1982, where 32 men from the indigenous Maya Achi community were selected from a list, tortured and executed in Chichupac village. The case also concerns disappearances; executions; detentions; forced displacements; acts of torture; sexual violence; and forced labour, which took place before and after the massacre, in the village and neighbouring communities in the municipality of Rabinal.

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