REPORT No. 105/11
PETITIONS 233–04 (MANFRED AMRHEIN PINTO, RONALD FERNANDEZ PINTO, CARLOS
OSBORNE ESCALANTE, CARLOS MANUEL GONZALEZ LIZANO AND ARTURO FALLAS ZÚÑIGA);
669-04 (RAFAEL ANTONIO ROJAS MADRIGAL); 1174-04 (DAMAS VEGA ATENCIO); 221-05
(MIGUEL MORA CALVO); 587-05 (MANUEL HERNANDEZ QUESADA); 1083-06 (JORGE ALBERTO
MARTINEZ MELENDEZ); 1111-06 (GUILLERMO RODRÍGUEZ SILVA AND MARTÍN ROJAS
HERNÁNDEZ); 1256-06 (CARLOS EDUARDO YÉPEZ CRUZ, LUIS ARCHBOLD JAY, ENRIQUE
FLOYD ARCHBOLD JAY, FERNANDO SALDARRIAGA SALDARRIAGA AND MIGUEL ANTONIO
VALVERDE)
ADMISSIBILITY
COSTA RICA
July 22, 2011
I.

SUMMARY

1. The present report refers to the following eight petitions received by the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter, the “Commission”, “Inter-American Commission”
or “IACHR”): P 233-041: Manfred Amrhein Pinto, Ronald Fernández Pinto, Carlos Osborne
Escalante, Carlos Manuel González Lizano and Arturo Fallas Zúñiga; P 669-042: Rafael Antonio
Rojas Madrigal; P 1174-043: Damas Vega Atencio; P 221-054: Miguel Mora Calvo; P 587-055:
Manuel Hernández Quesada; P 1083-066: Jorge Alberto Martínez Meléndez; P 111-067:
Guillermo Rodríguez Silva and Martín Rojas Hernández; P 1256-068:Carlos Eduardo Yépez
Cruz, Luis Archbold Jay, Enrique Floyd Archbold Jay, Fernando Saldarriaga Saldarriaga and
Miguel Antonio Valverde, (hereinafter, the “alleged victims”), in which they allege that the
State of Costa Rica (hereinafter, "Costa Rica", "the State" or "the Costa Rican State") was
internationally responsible for alleged violations of rights enshrined in the American Convention
on Human Rights(the “American Convention” or the “Convention”). The Commission decided to
join the eight separate petitions and examine them in a single report.
2. All the petitions allege that the State violated the judicial guarantees established in Articles
8 and 25 of the Convention, and in particular, Article 8(2)(h), because of the alleged lack of an
ordinary appeals procedure for the comprehensive examination of the convictions imposed on
the alleged victims. Some of the petitions also made specific allegations about presumed
violations of the guarantee of impartiality of the judges; alleged deficiencies in the office of the
public defender; alleged failure to give a formal reading of the charges and of legal counsel,
and/or alleged inadequate conditions of detention, among others.
3. The State refutes the petitioners’ allegations, argues that it has not committed human rights
violations, and that the intention is to use the IACHR as a superior instance, because of the
petitioners’ subjective disagreement with the convictions handed down in the various criminal
cases. It therefore contends that the allegations do not constitute violations of the American
Convention, and requests the IACHR to declare the various complaints inadmissible. Regarding
the alleged violation of Article 8(2)(h) of the Convention, it contends that with the adoption of
Law 8.503 “Law for the Opening of the Criminal Appeal [Casación]”, the legal system was
brought into line with the Convention, and that the subsequent adoption of Law 8.837
“Creation of an appeals procedure, other reforms to the appeals system and implementation of
new rules on oral proceedings in criminal cases”, strengthened the protection of the

1

Presented by Derechos Humanos para las Américas (HR Américas) and Servicios Interamericanos de abogados en
Derechos Humanos, represented by Carlos Rafael Urquilla Bonilla and Víctor Manuel Rodriguez Recia.
2
Presented by Rafael Antonio Rojas Madrigal on his own behalf.
3
Presented by Damas Atencio Vega.
4
Presented by Miguel Mora Calvo on his own behalf.
5
Presented by Manuel Hernández Quesada on his own behalf and represented by Rafael Antonio Rojas Madrigal.
6
Presented on October 11, 2006 by Ricardo Barahona Montero.In a communication received on August 31,2010, the
alleged victim stated that his new representatives would be Lilliam Blanco Araya and José Martínez Meléndez.
7
Presented by Guillermo Rodr��guez Silva and Martín Rojas Hernández.
8
Presented by Carlos Eduardo Yépez Cruz on his own behalf on May 21, 2007.On May 27, 2010, the IACHR informed
the Parties of its decision to incorporate Messrs. Luis Archbold Jay, Enrique Floyd Archbold Jay, Fernando Saldarriaga
Saldarriaga and Miguel Antonio Valverde into the petition, in response to the petitioner’s request that the cases be
joined.
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