8. On September 7, 1999, the State was sent the petitioners’ comments on its reply of August
19. On October 15, the State submitted a new document containing information. That
document was forwarded by the Commission to the petitioners on October 28, 1999.
9. On July 28, 2000, the IACHR put itself at the disposal of the parties with a view to reaching
a friendly settlement. On March 2, 2001, the Commission held a meeting at its headquarters in
order for the parties to discuss the terms of a possible friendly settlement.
10. On October 13, 2000, during the Commission’s 108th session, the petitioners signed a
document setting the foundations for a friendly settlement agreement that they pledged to
draw up.
11. On April 30, 2001, the petitioners informed the IACHR about their intention to withdraw
from the friendly settlement procedure undertook with the State of Guatemala.
III.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

A.

Petitioners

12. The petitioners claim that on October 6, 1981, at around 1:30 p.m., three men, armed
with automatic pistols, entered the home of the Molina Theissen family. The men handcuffed
Marco Antonio Molina Theissen, who at that time was 14 years old, tied him to the arm of a
chair, and gagged him with a strip of masking tape. They stayed in the house for about 40
minutes before leaving in a pick up truck taking the boy, who still was handcuffed and gagged.
Members of the family wrote down the truck’s license plate that according to the investigations
carried out by the alleged victim’s parents at the General Directorate of Internal Revenue and
the General Directorate of the National Police was identified as belonging to a Guatemalan
army vehicle. To date the whereabouts of Marco Antonio Molina Theissen remains unknown.
13. The petitioners suggest that the abduction of Marco Antonio Molina Theissen was carried
out as a retaliation after his sister, Emma Guadalupe, a former student leader, managed to
escape from the hands of the army. Some days before the kidnapping of Marco Antonio Molina
Theissen, his sister had been imprisoned for nine days in which she was interrogated, tortured,
and raped, before she could escape. Her brother Marco Antonio was abducted the day after
she escaped.
14. The petitioners report that the alleged victim’s family filed several habeas corpus with the
judiciary. The first one was lodged on the day of the kidnapping, October 6, 1981; another on
June 23, 1997;2 and the last one on August 12.3 They also claim that they filed two special
investigation procedures, but none of them lead to a positive result. The first special procedure
was lodged on January 14, 1998,4 and the second one on February 5 of the same year. The
petitioners state that the failure of these remedies and the State’s unwillingness to investigate
the disappearance constitute grounds for resorting to the exception to the rule of the previous
exhaustion of domestic remedies, in as much as those remedies have proved to be ineffective.
15. Regarding the rights that the petitioners claimed have been violated, they note that Marco
Antonio Molina Theissen was last seen in the hands of State agents and so it can be assumed
that his life was taken arbitrarily and illegally, breaching Article 4 of the Convention. They
allege that the boy’s forced disappearance constitutes a violation of his right to human
treatment, and that the circumstances in which the alleged victim was detained, handcuffed,
and gagged, all together with the fact that torture was a common practice in Guatemala at
2 Appendix to the petition, submitted on September 14, 1998. Recorded as received by the clerk of the Supreme Court
on July 9, 1997.
3 Appendix to the petition, submitted on September 14, 1998. Recorded as received by the clerk of the Supreme Court
on August 11, 1997.
4 Appendix to the petition, submitted on September 14, 1998. Recorded as received by the clerk of the Supreme Court
on January 20, 1998.
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