IACHR Congratulates the State of Guatemala for Its Full Compliance with the Friendly Settlement Agreement Concerning Fredy Rolando Hernández Rodríguez

March 15, 2021

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Friendly Settlement Report 39/15

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to declare full compliance with Friendly Settlement Report 39/15, concerning Petition P-279-03—Fredy Rolando Hernández Rodríguez, and will stop monitoring it.

This case concerns the State of Guatemala's international responsibility for the torture and extrajudicial executions to which Héctor Hernández Rodríguez, Venancio Hernández Rodríguez, and Anacleto Soto Magaña were subjected, and for the forced displacement of their families in 1982. The petitioner alleged violations of rights protected in Articles 1 (obligation to respect rights), 4 (right to life), 5 (right to humane treatment), 8 (right to a fair trial), 22 (right to freedom of movement and residence), and 25 (right to judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights.

On September 25, 2006, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement that was approved by the IACHR on July 24, 2015. During the process to verify the implementation of this friendly settlement agreement, the Commission assessed action taken by the Guatemalan State to ensure compliance with the commitments it had made in the agreement. The Commission found that the State had held a private event on September 28, 2006, to acknowledge its responsibility for what happened and extend an apology. The event was attended by relatives of the victims, their representatives, and the man who was at the time Guatemala's Vice President. The State also complied with measures to honor the victims by unveiling plaques on a wall in the Parcelamiento de la Esperanza community during a formal event held on May 28, 2007. Major measures were also taken to promote investigation into the allegations and to prosecute and punish anyone responsible for this case. Finally, the State complied with its commitment to pay financial compensation to the victims' families.

The Inter-American Commission closely followed the implementation of the friendly settlement that was agreed in this case. The IACHR highly commended both parties on their efforts in negotiations and, later, during the monitoring stage of the friendly settlement agreement. Based on information provided by the parties during the monitoring process, the IACHR declared that full compliance had been attained, and consequently ended its supervision of compliance with this friendly settlement agreement.

The IACHR commends the Guatemalan State on its efforts to solve cases that are taken before the petition and case system—through its friendly settlement mechanism—and congratulates it for the full implementation of this friendly settlement agreement. The IACHR further congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to contribute to improving the friendly settlement procedure.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate derives from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The IACHR is composed of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 060/21