APRIL 24, 2006
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
1. On December 8, 2000, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Commission” or “the IACHR”) approved Report on admissibility and the merits No. 117/00, in keeping with Article 50 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention”) and so notified the Guatemalan State on December 22, 2000.
2. In Report No. 117/00, the Commission decided, in keeping with Article 40 of its Regulations then in force, to join several cases and to refer to them in a single report. One of the cases joined was number 10.626 on Remigio Domingo Morales and Rafael Sánchez, and in the chapter on “Facts alleged” it stated as follows:
A. Cases involving extrajudicial executions
1. Case 10.626: Remigio Domingo Morales and Rafael Sánchez
a. Facts alleged
7. On June 28, 1990, in the hamlet of Tuisquián, village of Xemal, the municipality of Colotenango, department of Huehuetenango, Remigio Domingo Morales and teenager Rafael Sánchez (15 years) were seized by Civil Patrolmen and accused of being guerrillas. Once in custody, the commander of the military base at Huehuetenango ordered the local PAC to gather everyone from the hamlet to “be present when Civil Patrolmen Nicolás Godínez, Modesto Godínez and Andrés Domingo stoned them on the commander’s orders.” The victims were taken to the Huehuetenango hospital in critical condition. According to records, the victims died from the serious injuries they sustained at the hands of their captors. The events were reported to the proper authorities and to the press.
b. Proceedings with the Commission
8. On August 17, 1990, the Commission opened case 10.626 and forwarded the pertinent parts of the petition to Guatemala, requesting that the government provide pertinent information. Guatemala supplied information on July 10, 1991 and September 26, 1994. On November 6, 1995, the petitioners filed their observations to the State’s response, which were then promptly brought to its attention. Since then, no new information has been forthcoming from either party.
9. On August 9, 1998, the Commission placed itself at the disposal of the parties with a view to reaching a friendly settlement. The parties did not accept the Commission’s offer.
C. The State’s position
10. The State reported that in the instant case, “the Second Court of First Instance of the Department of Huehuetenango instituted criminal inquiry number 1261-90. A number of members of the Colotenango Civil Patrol were charged with battery and unlawful arrest….” The State requested that, in keeping with Article 46 of the American Convention, the case be declared inadmissible on the grounds that the remedies under domestic law had not been exhausted.
3. On March 2, 2001, the Guatemalan State reported as follows regarding the case of Remigio Domingo Morales and Rafael Sánchez: “To date the persons accused have not been placed on trial so the family members of the offended persons did not lodge any accusation against them, thus the Public Ministry did not continue the investigations into the case for lack of sufficient elements of proof.”
4. On April 7, 2001, the Commission approved and published Report No. 59/01 pursuant to Article 51 of the American Convention, whose first conclusion reads: “Based on the above analysis, the Commission confirms its conclusion that the facts prompting the petitions are true and that the State is responsible for violating the following rights: (1) the right to life recognized in Article 4 of the American Convention, in the cases of Remigio Domingo Morales, Rafael Sánchez….”
5. On July 21, 2004, and January 6, 2006, the Guatemalan State reported that after undertaking an investigation into the facts alleged, it was possible to verify that on June 28, 1990, Messrs. Remigio Domingo Morales and Rafael Sánchez were admitted to the Hospital of Huehuetenango to receive attention for their multiple blunt injuries, and both were discharged from the hospital July 3, 1990. In addition, the State reported that according to an investigation by officials from COPREDEH, it was possible to find that Messrs. Morales and Sánchez are alive, and, therefore, were not victims of extrajudicial execution, as stated in the report issued by the IACHR. The State produced evidence that included a letter signed by the executive director of the Hospital Nacional de Huehuetenango dated March 23, 2004; copies of residential identification papers; affidavit signed by Natividad Morales López dated January 9, 2004; affidavit signed by Remigio Domingo Morales dated January 14, 2004; and affidavit signed by Esperanza Domingo Godínez.
6. The Guatemalan State, by virtue of the information and documents produced, asked the Commission to correct Report on the Merits No. 59/01, of April 7, 2001, in the pertinent parts, making it clear that the alleged victims were not extrajudicially executed.
7. The IACHR, despite the efforts of the Executive Secretariat, has not been able to contact the original petitioners since January 1995.
1. That a material error as regards the facts of the case has been shown, that became known to the Commission subsequent to the approval and publication of Report No. 59/01.
2. That the Inter-American Court on Human Rights has indicated
54. At the same time, the Court cannot ignore the possibility of exceptional circumstances that would make it permissible for the Commission to amend the aforementioned report. One such circumstance would be partial or full compliance with the recommendations and conclusions contained in the report. Another would be the existence in the report of errors of substance regarding the facts of the case. Lastly, another situation would be if facts unknown at the time the report was issued and which could have a decisive effect on its content were to come to light. This implies that there can be no re-opening of the debate over the original facts or legal considerations.
55. In any of the above cases, amendment may be requested only by the petitioners or the State. Such a request for amendment may be made only prior to publication of the report, within a reasonable period from the date of its notification. The parties should be provided with an opportunity to discuss the facts or errors that have given rise to the petition, in accordance with the principle of procedural equity.
3. In the case at hand, the request for rectification by the State came after publication of the report. Nonetheless, the IACHR observes that the material error is substantial and influenced the content of the decision.
4. That the material truth, within respect for juridical security and procedural equity, should prevail over procedural formalities.
5. That Report No. 59/01 should be rectified.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE IACHR RESOLVES:
1. To rectify Report No. 59/01, published and approved on April 7, 2001, so as to state that on June 28, 1990, Messrs. Remigio Domingo Morales and Rafael Sánchez were detained by members of the Civil-Defense Patrols, and that same day were taken to the Hospital of Huehuetenango to receive attention for their multiple blunt injuries, and both were discharged from the hospital on July 3, 1990.
2. The Guatemalan State violated the right to physical integrity to the detriment of Messrs. Remigio Domingo Morales and Rafael Sánchez.
3. To notify the Guatemalan State and the petitioners of this resolution.
4. To publish this resolution and attach it to Report No. 59/01 in all the print and electronic publications of the IACHR.
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 IACHR, REPORT ON THE MERITS No. 59/01; CASES: 10.626 REMIGIO DOMINGO MORALES AND RAFAEL SÁNCHEZ; 10.627 PEDRO TAU CAC; 11,198(A) JOSÉ MARÍA IXCAYA PIXTAY ET AL.; 10.799 CATALINO CHOCHOY, JÓSE CORINO THESEN AND ABELINO BAYCAJ; 10.751 JUAN GALICIA HERNÁNDEZ, ANDRÉS ABELINO GALICIA GUTIÉRREZ AND ORLANDO ADELSO GALICIA GUTIÉRREZ; and 10.901 ANTULIO DELGADO. GUATEMALA. April 7, 2001.
 I/A Court H.R., Reports of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Art. 51 American Convention on Human Rights). Advisory Opinion OC-15/97 of November 14, 1997. Series A No. 15.