2
(Right to life), 8 (Right to a Fair Trial), and 25 (Judicial Protection), 1(1) (Obligation
to Respect Rights) and/ or 2 (Domestic Legal Effects) of the American Convention
[…], through the imposition of the death penalty on Fermín Ramírez without giving
him the opportunity to exercise his right to a defense, with regard both to the
variation of the acts charged in the indictment as well as their legal classification,
which occurred when the Guatemalan judicial authorities issued a conviction against
him on March 6, 1998”. The Commission also requested the Court to order that the
State adopt a series of pecuniary and non-pecuniary measures of reparation.
II
JURISDICTION OF THE COURT
3.
The Court is competent to hear the present case, in the terms of articles 62
and 63(1) of the Convention, since Guatemala ratified the American Convention on
May 25, 1978 and accepted the Court’s obligatory jurisdiction on March 9, 1987.
III
PROCEDURE BEFORE THE COMMISSION
4.
On June 9, 2000 the Institute of Public Criminal Defense Services presented a
petition before the Inter-American Commission. On that same date, the petitioner
requested precautionary measures in favor of the alleged victim, which was later
reiterated.
5.
On October 9, 2002, during its 116th regular meeting, the Commission
approved Report No. 74/02, in which it declared the admissibility of the case and
decided to proceed to the consideration of its merits.
6.
On February 9, 2004, the State was informed of the decision of the InterAmerican Commission to grant precautionary measures in favor of Mr. Fermín
Ramírez.
7.
On March 11, 2004, during its 119th regular meeting, the Commission
approved the Report of Merits No. 35/04, in which it concluded that:
[…] Based on the considerations of fact and law included in the present report, the
Commission reiterates its conclusions that the State of Guatemala is responsible for the
following:
a.
The State is responsible of the violation of Mr. Fermín Ramirez’s right set forth
in Article 8(2)(b) of the American Convention because the Guatemalan authorities
abstained from previously communicating in a detailed manner the facts on which the
conviction to the death sentence was based.
b.
The State is responsible of the violation of Mr. Fermín Ramírez’s right set forth
in Article 8(1) of the American Convention because the Guatemalan judicial authorities
prevented his exercise of the right to be heard regarding the facts and circumstances he
was charged with in the conviction.
c.
The State is responsible of the violation to Mr. Fermín Ramírez’s right set forth
in Article 8(2)(c) of the American Convention because through the inclusion of new facts
charged in the judgment and the abrupt change in the judicial classification in the
conviction it prevented the technical defense counsel from orienting its activity in a
reasonable manner, with the adequate time and means for its preparation.

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