August 19, 2014

Case No. 12,739
María Inés Chinchilla Sandoval et al.

Mr. Secretary:
On behalf of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, I have the honor to submit to the
jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights case 12,739 – María Inés Chinchilla Sandoval et
al. v. the Republic of Guatemala (hereinafter “the State”, “the Guatemalan State” or “Guatemala”).
The present case concerns the violations of María Inés Chinchilla Sandoval’s human rights as a
result of multiple actions and omissions that culminated in her death, all while she was an inmate at the
Centro de Orientación Feminina (COF). The Commission determined that for the duration of Mrs. Chinchilla
Sandoval’s incarceration, the Guatemalan State had a special duty as guarantor of her rights to life and
personal integrity, despite which it failed to conduct the full testing necessary to determine what illnesses
she was suffering from and failed to provide all the specific treatment and care she required. Although
Mrs. María Inés Chinchilla Sandoval was a diabetic, the State failed to provide the periodic testing,
equipment, special medications, constant dietary vigilance and care that her diabetic condition required.
On the contrary, Mrs. Chinchilla had to supply her own medications and food, relying on her own means or
her family. The result was that her medical conditions deteriorated; one of her legs had to be amputated
and her diabetic retinopathy and occlusive atherosclerosis worsened. Likewise, despite the special
obligations incumbent upon the State when it incarcerates a person with disabilities, the Guatemalan State
did not provide her with the conditions necessary to protect her rights, especially when one considers that
Mrs. Chinchilla Sandoval was confined to a wheelchair and had other special needs owing to her condition.
In fact, on the day of her death, because she had no one to assist her she fell from her wheelchair down the
stairs and was not provided with adequate medical treatment or the hospital care required in an
emergency situation.
Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretary
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Apartado 6906-1000
San José, Costa Rica

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