petitioners allege that the State did not adhere to the principle of participation, that is, it did not meet its obligation to guarantee the participation of the victim, whom it must inform that it is conducting an ex officio investigation which the victim may join. 17. The petitioners point out that Article 8 of the Public Ministry Law states: "The Public Ministry shall inform the victim of the results of the investigation and will notify the same of the resolution to close the case.” In other words, the petitioners allege that Guatemalan legislation guarantees the participation of the victim in the criminal investigation, but it requires that the entity responsible for conducting the investigation provide the victim information about it and about the results of the same, otherwise, the petitioners allege, the victim or victims would not be informed and would not be in a position to participate in the investigation or make any decisions about it. The petitioners point out that the State had not introduced any documentation dated around the time of Mrs. Chinchilla’s death that provided any evidence that the Prosecutors Office had notified the relatives of the alleged victim of the investigation or of the results obtained 3. 18.In sum, the petitioners point out that the relatives of the alleged victim were never informed about the possibility of joining in the prosecution as joint plaintiffs, and, therefore, they were never provided the legal assistance available to those who wish to become joint plaintiffs but do not have the resources necessary to do so, as provided in Article 539 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The petitioners say that, that fact combined with the family’s tenuous economic situation and their lack of knowledge about Guatemala’s criminal procedures, prevented them from taking advantage of the opportunity. The petitioners further allege that, in any case, the relatives could not be assigned responsibility for an investigation that the State was obligated to carry out. 19.With regard to the allegation that the State was unable to provide medical care to the alleged victim inside the correctional institution, the petitioners point out that four motions for early release of Mrs. Chinchilla were filed and all of them denied by the Second Criminal Enforcement Court. 20.Last, with regard to the legal process to claim reparation for loss and damages, the petitioners allege that they did not file any legal action because it would have been unproductive, given the delays that those proceedings normally entail. Specifically, the petitioners point out, only once in the last 20 years has the State been found guilty of a death that occurred inside a prison and, in that instance, compensation was never paid. Therefore, the petitioners assert, the exceptions to the requirement of exhaustion of domestic remedies established in Article 46(2b) and (c) of the Convention apply by virtue of the “unwarranted delay in rendering a judgment on the remedies” and by the ineffectiveness of those remedies. B. The State 21.In its communications, the State contends that the alleged victim was provided proper medical care inside the correctional institution and, that she was also taken to the hospital any time her condition or treatment required it. The State also points out that, on several occasions, when Mrs. Chinchilla was provided the required medicine and food she rejected them and refused to follow medical advice, and, furthermore–according to the information provided by the Office of the Director of the Penitentiary System–she ate foods harmful to her health in order to be taken to the hospital, all of which resulted in the deterioration of her health. 22.In a communication received on October 14, 2009, the State submitted detailed information regarding the medical care provided to the alleged victim while she was imprisoned. The State argues that Ms. Chinchilla Sandoval requested to have several medical appointments, most of which were approved; that she never suffered the alleged acts of torture in the detention center where she was being held (Female Orientation Center [Centro de Orientación Femenino (COF)]; 3 The petitioners specifically requested that the IACHR keep the identity of Mrs. Chinchilla Sandoval’s relatives secret. 4

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