Petition 1139-04 was received on October 27, 2004. On December 20, 2004, the petition was
forwarded to the State, which was given two months to submit its comments. The State's response was received
on March 18, 2005, and transmitted to the petitioners on March 24, 2005. In addition, information was received
from the petitioners on April 18, 2005, and duly transmitted to the State.
In a communication of June 14, 2004, the State expressed its intention to initiate a friendly
settlement process. On August 18, 2005, the IACHR placed itself at the disposal of the parties with a view to
facilitating a friendly settlement process in the case. A number of working meetings were held in the framework
of that process. 2 In a communication dated October 24, 2012, the petitioners requested the Commission to
conclude the friendly settlement process and continue processing the case. After the friendly settlement
process had ended, the IACHR received information from the State in communications dated January 30, 2013;
June 14 and 21, 2014, October 3, 2014, and March 16, 2015, all of which were duly forwarded to the petitioners.
The petitioners sent communications on September 5, 2013 and February 12, 2015, which were duly
transmitted to the State.
POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
The petitioners report that on April 29 and 30, 1982, there was a massacre at Los Josefinos, a
village located in the Municipality of La Libertad, Petén Department, whose population mainly consisted of
families of non-indigenous origin. They said that at approximately 5:00 p.m. on April 29, 1982, the Compañía
Los Vencedores military unit surrounded the village and at around midnight shot and killed the patrol members
who were guarding it. The soldiers then torched homes and shot and beat to death the inhabitants of Los
Josefinos, who were buried in a mass grave. The petitioners also say that during the massacre the inhabitants
of los Josefinos were "completely defenseless" and that the people who were executed were treated with
"evident cruelty" by the soldiers. According to the petitioners, during and after the massacre the survivors hid
in the surrounding bush and neighboring villages. With respect to the number of people who were killed in the
massacre, the petitioners state that they do not know the exact figure for the following reasons: (a) many of the
corpses were consumed in the flames of the burnt homes; (b) the survivors fled into the bush, where several of
them perished; and (c) the corpses of the dead found on paths were buried in fields or in common graves.
They pointed out that the massacre was not an isolated event, given that from late 1981 to
1983, the Guatemalan army carried out acts of repression in the Department of Petén. Specifically, they say that
there were two massacres in that department in March and April 1982, with the result that the residents of Los
Josefinos came under attack both before and after the massacre on April 29 and 30, 1982. In light of the
foregoing, the petitioners point out that the alleged victims in this case are divided into the following four
categories: (a) alleged victims of the massacre of los Josefinos and their relatives: (b) alleged victims of the
attacks prior to the massacre; (c) alleged victims of the attacks after the massacre; and (4) alleged victims of
forced displacement and dispossession of private property.
As a result of the massacre, the petitioners claim that the State is responsible for violating the
right to life (Article 4) of the alleged victims. With regard to the alleged violation of the right to humane
treatment (Article 5), they state that this occurred with the violence to which the inhabitants were subjected
for hours before being executed, and by reason of the mental suffering of the survivors and relatives of the
alleged victims because of the impunity in "the fruitless investigation of the events.”
The petitioners also point out that the Guatemalan State violated the rights to a fair trial and
judicial protection of the survivors and relatives of the alleged victims on account of the unwarranted delay
and ineffectiveness of the investigation of the facts in this case and because they did not have access to an
2 Those meetings were held on the following dates: October 20, 2006, during the 126th regular session; October 11, 2007, during
the 130th regular session; March 11, 2008, during the 131st regular session; May 27, 2007, during an official visit to Guatemala by the
country rapporteur; October 27, 2010, during the 140th regular session; and March 10, 2012, during the working visit by the Rapporteur
for Guatemala and the Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.