Following an internal conflict in Guatemala, in the 1980s many human rights defenders were targeted, threatened, and attacked by State military forces. This case stems from the murder of a community mayor, who was also a notable human rights defender. Members of the family of the victim, some of whom were also politically active, were persecuted after the victim's death. Multiple investigations were launched, and though the State eventually concluded that the victim had been deprived of his right to life, it did not identify or punish those responsible. Additionally, the State failed to protect the victim's family from the threats and harassment they received after his death, and they were ultimately forced to flee their homes. The Court found that the State violated the American Convention on Human Rights.
Case Summary: Human Rights Defenders v. Guatemala