REPORT Nº 91/06
PETITION 12.343
ADMISSIBILITY
EDGAR FERNANDO GARCÍA
GUATEMALA
October 21st, 2006

I.

SUMMARY

1. On August 22, 2000, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter the
“Commission,” the “Inter-American Commission,” or the “IACHR”) received a petition
submitted by the Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (GAM), represented by Mario Alcides Polanco Pérez
(hereinafter “the petitioners”), against the Republic of Guatemala (hereinafter “the State,” “the
Guatemalan State,” or “Guatemala”). The petitioners request the Commission to declare the
international responsibility of the State for the forced disappearance of Edgar Fernando García
(hereinafter “the alleged victim”), who on February 18, 1984, was shot and then captured by
the Special Operations Brigade of the Guatemalan National Police. To date, his whereabouts
remain unknown.
2. With respect to admissibility, the petitioners argue that their petition is admissible because
it meets the requirements set forth in Article 46 of the American Convention on Human Rights
(hereinafter the “American Convention” or the “Convention”). The Guatemalan State did not
avail itself of the procedural opportunity provided for in the Convention to present arguments
regarding admissibility requirements.
3. After an analysis of the petitioner’s position and given the lack of response by the State
from the outset of the processing of this case, the Commission decides that the case is
admissible, in light of Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention, in relation to the alleged
violation of Articles 4, 5, 7, 8 and 25 and in accordance to Articles 1.1) and 2) of the American
Convention and Article I of the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of
Persons, in detriment of Edgar Fernando García and his next of kin. Finally, the Commission
resolves to publish this report in its Annual Report to the OAS General Assembly, and to notify
both parties.
II.

PROCESSING BEFORE THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION

4. On August 22, 2000, the Commission received the petition dated April 5, 2000, and
assigned it number 12.343, in keeping with the regulations then in force. In a note dated
November 21, 2000, sent the next day, the Commission forwarded the pertinent parts of the
petition to the State, and asked that it submit its observations on the facts alleged and provide
evidence that would enable the IACHR to determine whether domestic remedies had been
exhausted, within 90 days. On February 13, 2001, in a note dated January 13, 2001, the State
sought an extension, which was granted on February 14, 2001, for 90 days.
5. On February 23, 2004, the IACHR reiterated to the State its request for information,
originally made in November 2001. On January 31, 2006, the petitioners submitted additional
information, and on February 2, 2006, the IACHR asked that the State report on the status of
the judicial investigations. On February 7, 2006, the petitioners submitted the updated
information that had been requested, which was forwarded to the State on February 22, 2006,
for its observations. The IACHR has not received any response from the State to its requests
for information.
III.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

A.

The petitioners
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