Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Case of the "Street Children " (Villagran-Morales et al.) v. Guatemala
Judgment of November 19, 1999

In the Villagrán Morales et al. case (the “street children” case∗).
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Court” or “the InterAmerican Court”) composed of the following judges**:
Antônio A. Cançado Trindade, President
Máximo Pacheco Gómez, Vice-President
Hernán Salgado Pesantes, Judge
Oliver Jackman, Judge
Alirio Abreu Burelli, Judge and
Carlos Vicente de Roux Rengifo, Judge
also present,
Manuel E. Ventura Robles, Secretary and
Renzo Pomi, Deputy Secretary,
pursuant to Articles 55 and 57 of the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Court
of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Rules of Procedure”), delivers the following
On January 30, 1997, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the Commission” or “the Inter-American Commission”) submitted to the
Court an application against the Republic of Guatemala (hereinafter “the State” or
“Guatemala”) deriving from a petition (No. 11, 383) received by the Secretariat of
the Commission on September 15, 1994.
When presenting the case to the Court, the Commission invoked Articles 50
and 51 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention”
or “the American Convention”) and Articles 32 et seq. of the Rules of Procedure. The
Commission referred this case for the Court to determine whether Guatemala had
violated the following Articles of the Convention: 1 (Obligation to Respect Rights), 4
(Right to Life), 5 (Right to Humane Treatment), 7 (Right to Personal Liberty), 8
(Right to a Fair Trial) and 25 (Right to Judicial Protection). According to the
application, these violations were the result of

Regarding the use of the term “street children” in this judgment, see para. 188.

Judge Sergio García Ramírez was unable to take part in the preparation and adoption of this
Judgment due to circumstances beyond his control.

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