REPORT No. 101/09 PETITION 1184-04 ADMISSIBILITY STEVEN EDWARD HENDRIX GUATEMALA October 29, 2009 I. SUMMARY 1. On November 5, 2004, Steven Edward Hendrix, a United States citizen (hereinafter "the petitioner" and/or "the alleged victim"), lodged a petition on his own behalf with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Commission," "the Inter-American Commission" or "the IACHR") against the Republic of Guatemala (hereinafter "the State" or "the Guatemalan State") for having prevented him from exercising the profession of notary, even though he held the corresponding degree from a Guatemalan university, because he was not a Guatemalan citizen. 2. The petitioner claims that the Guatemalan State incurred international responsibility by violating the rights established in Articles 26 (progressive development of economic, social, and cultural rights) as they relate to Articles 6 and 7 of the Protocol of San Salvador and the right to work; 20 (right to a nationality), and 24 (equal protection of the law); all taken in conjunction with Articles 1.1 and 2 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Convention" or "the American Convention"). Regarding the grounds for admissibility, he states that he has exhausted the remedies available under domestic law. 3. The State asks the Commission not to admit the instant case on the ground that there was no intent on the part of the State to infringe the rights of Steven Edward Hendrix but only to safeguard the exercise of a government prerogative arising from the sovereignty of the State. In that regard, the State points out that it is willing to grant Mr. Hendrix full recognition as a notary if he will comply with the terms of the Court of Constitutionality and provide proof of acquisition of Guatemalan citizenship. 4. In this report, without prejudging the merits of the case, the Commission finds the petition admissible in accordance with Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention. The Inter-American Commission therefore decides to notify the parties of the decision and to proceed with the analysis of the merits of the alleged violation of Article 24 of the American Convention, in keeping with the obligation to respect and ensure the rights and to adopt the national legislative measures stipulated in Articles 1.1 and 2 of said international instrument. The Commission also decides to declare inadmissible the claims of alleged infringement of the rights recognized in Articles 20 and 26 of the American Convention and, finally, to publish the instant decision and to include it in its Annual Report to the OAS General Assembly. II. PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION 5. On November 5, 2004, the Commission received a petition dated October 26, 2004, filed by Steven Edward Hendrix on his own behalf, and it assigned the petition case number 1184-04. On April 13, 2005, the IACHR transmitted the relevant portions of said petition to the State, requesting it to submit its response within two months as provided in Article 30.3 of the Rules of Procedure of the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Rules of Procedure"). The State's response was received in the communication dated June 13, 2005.