members of the indigenous Mayan people at the village of Plan de Sánchez,
Municipality of Rabinal, Department of Baja Verapaz, carried out by members of the
Guatemalan Army and civil collaborators, under protection of the army, on Sunday,
July 18, 1982.” The Commission pointed out in its application that there is a
situation of impunity regarding the massacre, and that the State allegedly has not
conducted a serious and effective investigation to establish the facts, try and punish
the direct perpetrators and masterminds of the facts alleged, and it has not
redressed the consequences. According to the Commission, the massacre was
carried out “within the framework of a genocidal policy of the Guatemalan State
carried out with the intention of totally or partially destroying the Mayan indigenous
The Commission also asked the Court to order the State to adopt certain
pecuniary and non-pecuniary reparations. Finally, the Commission asked the InterAmerican Court to order the State to pay legal costs and expenses incurred in
processing the case under domestic jurisdiction and internationally before the bodies
of the inter-American system for the protection of human rights.
Guatemala has been a State Party to the American Convention since May 25,
1978, and it accepted the adjudicatory jurisdiction of the Court on March 9, 1987.
Therefore, the Court is competent to hear the instant case, pursuant to Article 62 of
the Convention.
On October 25, 1996 the Centro para la Acción Legal en Derechos Humanos
filed a petition before the Inter-American Commission.
On July 1, 1997 the
Commission opened case No. 11.763 and forwarded the pertinent parts of the
petition to the State.
On March 11, 1999 the Inter-American Commission, during its 102d Regular
Session, adopted Report No. 31/99 on admissibility of the case.
On March 19, 1999 the Commission sent Report No. 31/99 to the parties and
invited them to state whether they would be willing to begin the friendly settlement
On August 9, 2000 the President of Guatemala, at the time Mr. Alfonso
Portillo, in the framework of the friendly settlement of several cases being processed
before the Commission, acknowledged the “institutional responsibility” of the State in
the Case of Plan de Sánchez Massacre.
On February 28, 2002, during its 114th Regular Session, the Commission,
after analyzing the positions of the parties and finding that the friendly settlement
stage had ended, adopted - pursuant to the provisions of Article 50 of the
Convention, Report on the merits No. 25/02, the operative part of which
recommended that the State:

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