2 5. The petition w as received on June 22, 2007 1 and recorded as P-830-07. 2 On February 21, 2008 it w as forw arded to the State, w hich w as given a period of tw o months to submit its observations. Nicaragua’ s response w as received on July 14, 2008. The Commission also received information from the petitioners on the follow ing dates: September 22 and October 27, 2008; March 25, April 6, June 22, August 25, and December 16, 2009. These notes w ere duly forw arded to the State. In addition, the IACHR received observations from the State on December 12, 2008 and June 11, October 5, and November 16, 2009. These communications w ere duly forw arded to the petitioners. III. POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES A. The petitioners 6. The petitioners report that Mr. Francisco García Valle w as killed w ith a firearm on April 8, 2002 at his home located in Bluefields, Nicaragua. They assert that the murderers’ objective w as to kill his w ife, Mrs. María Luisa Acosta, because she w as affecting the interests of businessmen in the area by defending the territory of indigenous peoples. 3 They report that due to the murder of Francisco García Valle criminal procedure file No. 110 -02 w as filed w ith the District Criminal Court of Bluefields and later w ith the District Court for Civil and Criminal Matters of Bluefields. 4 They assert that tw o individuals w ere convicted for perpetrating the crime w hile the masterminds and another perpetrator w ere acquitted. 7. The petitioners assert that the criminal investigation conducted into the murder of García Valle had numerous irregularities, including actions taken by judicial officials t o impede the search for justice and to intimidate Mrs. Acosta. In this regard, they indicate that the criminal proceeding w as partially conducted, the investigation w as insufficient, and the resources used w ere ineffective. In particular, they indicate:  Evidence essential to clarifying the facts of the crime w as not ordered, processed, or evaluated. For example, 1) items of evidence that w ould link those w ho w ere acquitted w ith those w ho w ere convicted w ere not included nor w as the expert report from the National Police Criminalistics Laboratory indicating that the murder w eapon belonged to one of the individuals acquitted; 2) Mrs. Acosta w as not allow ed to seek, produce and/or submit evidence against those w ho w ere prosecuted as the alleged masterminds of the murder; 3) Despite having been requested by Mrs. Acosta, no statement w as taken from a convict w ho told the press that an alleged mastermind had sent him to the Garcia-Acosta home on the night of the crime. 1 The petition w as received via fax on June 22, 2007 and stamped on June 25, 2007. 2 On August 27, 2007 the petitioners submitted additional information. 3 The petitioners report that Mrs. Acosta is an attorney w ho defends the rights of indigenous peoples. She is the founder and coordinator of CALPI, an organization dedicated to defending and disseminating the rights of the indigenous peoples on Nicaragua’ s Caribbean coast . She w as the Coordinator of the Technical Committee that drew up the proposed Law on the Communal Ow nership Regime of the Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Communities of the Autonomous Regions of the Atlantic Coast and the Bocay, Coco, Indio, and Maíz rivers (Law 445). She has litigated cases on the rights of indigenous peoples in the domestic arena and before the inter-American human rights system. Specifically, the petitioners point out that since 2000 Mrs. Acosta has provided legal assistance to the indigenous and ethnic communities of the Laguna de Perlas basin, the indigenous Rama people and the ethnic community of Monkey Point, in a dispute w ith tw o individuals w ho sought to strip them of part of their ancestral land (island and continental) and that on March 16, 2002 the leaders of those communities gave Mrs. Acosta a general pow er of attorney to initiate judicial proceedings against those individuals. 4 Identified as “ District Court for Civil and Criminal Matters for Administration of the Law of Bluefield.” They report that the case w ent on to be heard by that court on November 2002, based on the entry into effect of Nicaragua’ s new Code of Criminal Procedure. 2

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