REPORT No. 28/16
CASE 11.550
REPORT ON ADMISSIBILITY AND MERITS
MAURILIA COC MAX ET AL. (XAMÁN MASSACRE)
GUATEMALA
JUNE 10, 2016

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On November 16, 1995, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter, the
"Commission" or "IACHR") received a petition lodged by Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Eduardo Antonio Salerno,
and María López Funes. Subsequently, Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (GAM) became a petitioner (hereinafter, "the
petitioners"). The petitioners claimed that the State of Guatemala (hereinafter, the “State” or “Guatemalan
State”) bore responsibility for the extrajudicial execution of, and injuries caused to, a group of villagers at
Finca Xamán by members of the armed forces.
2.
According to the petitioners, members of the Guatemalan Armed Forces entered Finca
Xamán on October 5, 1995. They said that 11 villagers—including three children—were killed and 29
wounded. With respect to the case's admissibility, the petitioners said that domestic remedies were
exhausted. They added that there were various irregularities and flaws in the criminal proceeding and that it
took an unreasonably long time. They said that, so far, none of the victims or their next of kin has received any
sort of reparation.
3.
For its part, the State acknowledged the occurrence of the events and argued that the
necessary measures were adopted to elucidate the facts and identify and punish the military personnel
responsible. It said that following a proceeding in keeping with its domestic standards, the military personnel
involved were convicted of the crimes of arbitrary execution and attempted arbitrary execution.
Consequently, the State held that the case was inadmissible and that its international responsibility was not
engaged since it had already provided reparations for the above-described injuries.
4.
Having examined the information available, the Commission concluded that the case was
admissible and that the State of Guatemala was responsible for violation of the rights recognized at Articles
4(1), 5(1), 8(1), 19, 24 and 25(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights, taken in conjunction with
Article 1(1) of said instrument, to the detriment of the persons mentioned in each section of this report.
II.

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

5.
The original petition was lodged on November 16, 1995. On December 6, 1995, the State sent
a communication after the Commission had forwarded the petition to it. The petitioners presented
communications on February 26, March 12, September 10, and September 30, 1996; February 26, March 23,
August 10, and October 6, 1998; March 4, 1999; and July 26, 2002. The State, for its part, sent
communications on May 24 1996; May 12, 1997; March 12, April 27, and December 1, 1998; and July 7, 1999.
6.
On December 18, 2002, the IACHR wrote to the parties, advising them of its decision to defer
its analysis on the petition's admissibility until the decision on merits, in accordance with Article 37(3) of its
Rules of Procedure then in force. The Commission said that its decision was based on the fact that "in the
course of the processing of this petition, the parties have had ample opportunity to provide information on
the complaint and arguments both as to its admissibility and with regard to its merits.” The Commission
asked that the petitioners submit their observations on admissibility and merits within two months.
7.
The petitioners presented a communication containing their observations on admissibility
and merits on February 11, 2003. The Commission gave the State two months to submit its observations on
merits, in accordance with Article 38(1) of its Rules of Procedure. The State presented its observations on
May 24, 2004. Subsequently, the petitioners sent communications on August 24, 2004, April 28, 2005, and
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