REPORT Nº 36/04
PETITION 1643/02
ADMISSIBILITY
YOLANDA OLGA MALDONADO ORDÓÑEZ
GUATEMALA
March 11, 2004
I.

SUMMARY

1. On July 15, 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the
Commission" or "the IACHR") received a petition submitted by Olga Yolanda Maldonado
Ordóñez and the lawyers Dr. Alejandro Sánchez and Dr. Jorge Raúl Rodríguez Ovalle
(hereinafter "the petitioners") alleging that the State of Guatemala (hereinafter "the State" or
"the Guatemalan State") failed to respect Mrs. Maldonado Ordóñez’ right to a fair trial and due
judicial protection following her dismissal from her position as a teacher and assistant in the
Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman (Procuraduría de los Derechos Humanos) in the
Departments of Quiché and Quetzaltenango.
2. The petitioners maintain that the State is responsible for violating Mrs. Maldonado Ordóñez’
right to a fair trial and to judicial protection, as enshrined in Articles 8 and 25 of the American
Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter "the American Convention" or "the Convention"), by
denying her any possibility of a higher-authority review of the decision to dismiss her from her
post as Departmental Assistant in the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman. With respect to
the admissibility of the case, the State argues that remedies available within the domestic
jurisdiction were not exhausted, because the petitioners did not avail themselves of all
remedies provided for under domestic law. For their part, the petitioners argue that they
pursued and exhausted the remedies available for reinstating Mrs. Maldonado Ordóñez in her
job.
3. After examining the positions of the parties, the Commission has concluded that it is
competent to decide on the petition submitted by the petitioners, and that the case is
admissible in accordance with Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention.
II.

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

4. On August 19, 2002, the IACHR began processing the petition classified as No. 1643/2002,
in accordance with its Rules of Procedure in effect since May 1, 2001, and it transmitted the
pertinent portions of the petition to the State, asking it to present its observations within two
months. On November 1, 2002, the Guatemalan State requested an extension of the time limit
for presenting its observations, and on November 8, 2002, the IACHR granted it a one-month
extension.
5. On December 15, 2002, the State presented its observations, which were transmitted to the
petitioners on December 26, 2002, giving them 30 days to present their response. On
February 10, 2003, the petitioners sent their observations on the State's response. These
observations constitute the last communication in the record.
III.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

A.

Position of the petitioner

6. The petitioners allege that on April 5, 2000, Olga Yolanda Maldonado Ordóñez was notified
that there were grounds for her dismissal from her position as Departmental Assistant in the
Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman of Guatemala, stemming from a complaint filed by her
siblings, in which they claimed that Mrs. Maldonado Ordóñez and her sister had altered public
documents relating to a family inheritance. The dismissal also applied to her position as a
teacher, which was a tenured position until February 15, 2002.

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