INTER - AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
COMISION INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS
COMISSÃO INTERAMERICANA DE DIREITOS HUMANOS
COMMISSION INTERAMÉRICAINE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME

ORGANIZACIÓN DE LOS ESTADOS AMERICANOS
WASHINGTON, D.C. 2 0 0 0 6 EEUU
March 5, 2014
Ref.:

Case No. 12.777
Claudina I. Velásquez Paiz y otros
Guatemala

Mr. Secretary:
I am pleased to address you on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights in order to file Case No. 12.777 Claudina I. Velásquez Paiz et al. v. Guatemala (hereinafter
“the State”, “the Guatemalan State” or “Guatemala”) before the jurisdiction of the Honorable
Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The present case concerns the Guatemalan State’s
international responsibility for failure to comply with its duty to protect Claudina Isabel
Velásquez Paiz. When she did not come home, her parents went to the authorities to file a
complaint concerning her disappearance, but were unable to do so because they were told that
they would have to wait 24 hours before reporting the disappearance. The State thus failed to
take immediate and exhaustive measures to find and protect Claudina Isabel Velásquez Paiz
within the first few hours of learning of her disappearance, even though the State authorities
were aware of a milieu of violence against women that clearly placed the victim in imminent
danger. The lifeless body of Claudina Isabel Velásquez Paiz was discovered the next day, August
13, 2005, bearing marks indicating that the victim had been subjected to extreme violence,
including sexual violence.
The Guatemalan State’s international responsibility was also incurred by virtue of the
fact that it failed to conduct a serious investigation into the disappearance of Claudina Isabel
Velásquez Paiz, the violence she suffered and her murder. The Commission found that from the
outset, the investigation was riddled with problems, such as the mishandling and analysis of the
evidence gathered; problems with managing and preserving the crime scene, and with the tests
run on the evidence; irregularities in the autopsy report; a failure to do a thorough examination
of various parts of the victim’s body to confirm a possible rape; irregularities in the
fingerprinting of the victim, and the failure to take statements from important witnesses. The
Commission also found that the considerable delay in the instant case was the fault of the State,
caused mainly by a repeated reshuffling of the prosecutors assigned to the case; these changes
were disruptive to the investigation; inquiries and proceedings were either not completed on
time or were never examined by the new prosecutors assigned to the case.
Mr.
Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretary
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Apartado 6906-1000
San José, Costa Rica
Anexos

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