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II.

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

4.
On August 1, 2006, the IACHR received the petition and assigned it number 793-06. The annexes
to the petition were received on September 7, 2006. On February 15, 2007, the petition was forwarded to the
State, which was granted two months to submit its response, in keeping with the IACHR Rules of Procedure. On
May 7, 2007, the State submitted its response and supplemented such response on June 7 of that same year. On
July 13, 2007, the petitioners presented additional observations.
5.
On January 14, 2008, the petitioners made a request for a public hearing at the 131st period of
sessions, which was not granted. On April 3, 2008, the IACHR requested specific information from both parties. The
State presented observations and information on May 1, 2008, and the petitioners provided their observations and
additional information on May 15, 2008.
6.
The IACHR once again requested specific information from the parties on June 17, 2008. The
State presented information on May 27 and July 31, 2008, and the petitioners on September 1 of that same year.
7.
The petitioners informed the IACHR on April 15, 2011 of the “initiation of discussions with the
Guatemalan State in order to further a friendly settlement process.” On June 30, 2011, the IACHR communicated
its decision to place itself at the disposal of the parties with a view to reaching a friendly settlement on the matter
and urged them to affirm their interest in initiating the procedure provided for under Article 48(1)(f) of the
American Convention on Human Rights. Both parties affirmed such interest: the petitioners on August 15, 2011
and the State on November 18 of that same year.
8.
During a working visit to Guatemala by the Country Rapporteur, the IACHR invited both parties to
a meeting on March 10, 2012, in order to promote the friendly settlement process. At the meeting the parties
agreed to sign a friendly settlement agreement in short order. On March 15, 2012, the State reported that it had
sent the petitioners the draft friendly settlement agreement and affirmed that the parties had reached a
consensus thereon. However, on May 9 and June 15, 2012, the petitioners informed the IACHR that it had not
been possible to reach an agreement with the State, and they therefore requested that the proceedings continue.
The State presented additional information on January 14, 2013. All the submissions mentioned in previous
paragraphs were duly forwarded to the parties.
III.

POSITION OF THE PARTIES

A.

Position of the petitioner

9.
The petitioners claimed that on December 18, 1996, the First Juvenile Court of the First Instance
for the Department of Guatemala [Juzgado Primero de Primera Instancia de Menores del Departamento de
Guatemala], received an anonymous complaint about the alleged neglect of the children Osmín Ricardo Tobar
Ramírez, eight years of age, and Jeffrey Rainiery Arias Ramírez, two years of age. Based on this anonymous
complaint, on January 8, 1997, the Court, of its own initiative, tasked the Office of the Prosecutor for Juveniles
[Procuraduría de Menores] to corroborate the children’s situation, and if the facts reported were confirmed, to
proceed to rescue them. The petitioners indicated that in the execution of said task, on January 9, 1997, the Office
of the Prosecutor went to the home of the children’s mother, Mrs. Flor María Ramírez Escobar, and removed the
children. That same day they were admitted to a private institution named “Children’s Association of Guatemala”.
10.
The petitioners reported that the children’s mother was working at that time, but that she was
paying a woman to take care of her children. They indicated that this woman was the one who had anonymously
reported to the Court that the children were neglected and that when the agents from the Office of the Prosecutor
arrived, this woman was not at the home caring for the children as she should have been doing. They added that
when the mother found out that her children had been removed she went to the Office of the Prosecutor with the
corresponding birth certificates to request their return, but was turned away. Likewise, when she found out about
the proceedings before the Juvenile Court that same day, January 9, 1997, Mrs. Flor María Ramírez Escobar also

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