IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to approve the friendly settlement agreement concerning Petition 1287-19—Zury Ríos Sosa, Guatemala—and to publish approval report 61/22. This case concerns the State's international responsibility for the lack of safeguards for political participation regarding Roberto Molina Barreto and Zury Mayte Ríos Sosa. They both wanted to be candidates in the 2019 presidential election but could not do so because the relevant internal bodies refused to accept their candidacies, although they both met the criteria to stand for elected positions.
This friendly settlement procedure was launched in August 2021 and led to the signing of a friendly settlement agreement in December 2021. In this agreement, the State acknowledged its obligations concerning safeguards of the human right to political participation, held both in Guatemala's Political Constitution and in the American Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These documents all state that the exercise of this universal right should not be restricted, under any circumstances, and that all people have an equal right to participate and get involved in the country's political life as long as they meet the criteria established by the relevant authorities before standing for an elected position.
The State committed to implementing the following redress measures: (1) acknowledging the requesting parties' human right to political participation and the fact that they should have faced no restrictions to that right; (2) conducting two awareness raising campaigns through the Presidential Commission for Peace and Human Rights, to foster women's equal right to political participation; (3) holding two events with the relevant educational institutions—private and public—to foster women's equal right to political participation.
Friendly settlement report 61/22 welcomed the responsibility clause. Since the parties opted to defer compliance with this friendly settlement agreement until after the Commission had approved it, the Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of the agreed non-recurrence measures until full compliance has been attained, in keeping with the deadlines the parties have agreed on.
The Commission values the efforts made by both parties to negotiate a friendly settlement agreement that is compatible with the Convention's goals and purposes. The IACHR commends the State on its efforts to turn to this alternative conflict-resolution mechanism and invites the State to continue to use friendly settlement procedures to resolve other cases that are currently being addressed in the individual petition and case system. The Commission congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to take part in negotiations and to seek implementation of this agreement.
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 and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.