Tiu Tojín v. Guatemala
Judicial Protection | Duty to Investigate | Children/Youth | Indigenous Peoples
The Court emphasised the jus cogens nature of the State’s the duty to investigate and punish those responsible for enforced disappearances, and highlighted the differentiated impact of impunity on indigenous communities, as well as the social and cultural obstacles such communities face in accessing judicial mechanisms.
The judgment highlights that in order to guarantee access to justice for indigenous communities, it is essential to take into account their economic and social characteristics, as well as their special situation of vulnerability, their common law, values, uses and customs. The Court noted that the discriminatory practices of those working in the justice system presented a barrier to bringing complaints, and that the State did not give the victims access to translation or interpretation services.
November 26, 2008
Article 1(1) [ACHR], Article 4(1) [ACHR], Article 5(1) [ACHR], Article 5(2) [ACHR], Article 7(1) [ACHR], Article 7(2) [ACHR], Article 7(4) [ACHR], Article 7(5) [ACHR], Article 7(6) [ACHR], Article 8(1) [ACHR], Article 19 [ACHR], Article 25(1) [ACHR], Article 1 [IACFDP]
Facts of the Case
On 29 August 1990, among 86 people, Ms. María Tiu Tojín of the Maya community and her new-born daughter (Josefa) were disappeared by members of the Guatemalan army and members of the Civil Self-Defence Patrols, who accused her of being a guerrilla fighter. Ms. Tiu Tojín was 27 years old and a member of the Community of Population in Resistance of Santa Clara, in Quiché, and was linked to the Council of Ethnic Communities Runujel Junam and the National Committee of Widows of Guatemala, organisations which promoted non-participation in the Civil Self-Defence Patrols during the internal armed conflict in the country.