Press Release

IACHR Takes Case Involving Guatemala to the Inter-American Court

February 11, 2011

Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Case 12.343, Edgar Fernando García et al, with respect to Guatemala.

The case has to do with the forced disappearance of Edgar Fernando García, who was shot and then detained on February 18, 1984, by members of the Special Operations Brigade of the Guatemalan National Police. His whereabouts remain unknown. The forced disappearance of Edgar Fernando García took place in a context of a counterinsurgency policy characterized by terror and systematic human rights violations that primarily affected individuals or groups characterized as "internal enemies." This case is illustrative of that context, as Edgar F. García was a student leader and union leader at the time of his disappearance, which led to his being identified as an enemy of the repressive regime. The case is also representative of the use of military intelligence as a form of counterinsurgency, since the actions perpetrated against Edgar F. García appear in a document known as the "Diario Militar" (Military Diary). That document, prepared between August 1983 and March 1985 by the Guatemalan presidential intelligence unit, contains a log of operations such as abductions and secret detentions and murders, and information about the victims of such operations.

The case was sent to the Inter-American Court on February 9, 2011, because the Commission considered that the State had not complied with the recommendations contained in the report on the merits.

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

No. 9/11