REPORT No. 8/13 PETITION 793-06 ADMISSIBILITY OSMÍN RICARDO TOBAR RAMÍREZ, JEFFREY RAINIERY ARIAS RAMÍREZ ET AL. GUATEMALA March 19, 2013 I. SUMMARY 1. On August 1, 2006, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter, “the Commission,” “the IACHR,” or “the Inter-American Commission”) received a petition submitted by the Asociación Casa Alianza, the Movimiento Social por los Derechos de la Niñez and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), (hereinafter, “the petitioners”), on behalf of the children Osmín Ricardo Tobar Ramírez and Jeffrey Rainiery Arias Ramírez, Mrs. Flor María Ramírez Escobar and Mr. Gustavo Amílcar Tobar Fajardo (hereinafter, “the alleged victims”). The petitioners reported that on January 9, 1997, the children Osmín Ricardo Tobar Ramírez, eight years of age, and Jeffrey Rainiery Arias Ramírez, two years of age, were removed from their home by agents of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Nation [Procuraduría General de la Nación], by order of the Juvenile Court [Juzgado de Menores]. The foregoing came about as the result of an anonymous complaint to the Court for alleged child neglect. The petitioners alleged that the children were placed in a private institution, declared to have been abandoned, and thereafter, in June 1998, were surrendered for adoption to two families from the United States by means of a notarial procedure. They stated that all the measures taken to recover the children—administrative as well as legal [remedies] sought by the mother of the children, Mrs. Flor María Ramírez Escobar, and the father of one of the children, Mr. Gustavo Amílcar Tobar Fajardo—have been unsuccessful. The petitioners alleged that the delay and ineffectiveness in going forward with the remedies sought make the exception to the exhaustion of internal remedies applicable as referred to under Article 46(2) of the Convention. They added that this case dates from an era when there was a pattern of irregular international adoptions in Guatemala, fostered by inadequate legislation in this regard. 2. For its part, the State alleged that the anonymous complaint received was corroborated by different inquiries that confirmed the state of neglect of the children Osmín Ricardo Tobar Ramírez and Jeffrey Rainieri Arias Ramírez. The State argued that, based on this evidence, the Court decreed the children’s abandonment and their placement for adoption. With regard to the proceedings subsequent to the declaration of abandonment, specifically the appeals lodged by Mrs. Flor María Ramírez Escobar and Mr. Gustavo Amílcar Tobar Fajardo, it stated that the courts heard such appeals and handed down rulings until the case was closed on September 19, 2002, because it was impossible to proceed with letters rogatory to the United States for purposes of having the children appear in Guatemala. The State maintained that it has taken several steps aimed at achieving strict enforcement of the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption and the standards regarding the rights of children and adolescents enshrined in international provisions. The State has also indicated that it does not object to the admissibility of the petition. 3. Without prejudging the merits of the complaint, after analyzing the positions of the parties and in compliance with the requirements provided for under Article 46 and 47 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter, the “American Convention”), the Commission has declared the petition to be admissible for purposes of examining a possible violation of the alleged victims’ rights that are enshrined in articles 5, 8, 17, 18, 19, 24 and 25 of the Convention, and in keeping with Article 1(1) and 2 of said Convention. The Commission has also decided to notify the parties of this decision, publish it, and include it in their Annual Report to the OAS General Assembly.