In August 2005, nineteen year old college student Claudina Isabel Velásquez Paiz disappeared from a party. Immediately, one of her friends notified her parents, who called the police and began to search for their daughter. Despite a substantial increase of violence towards women at the time, State police refused to help Ms. Velásquez Paiz's family search for her, and refused to file a police report on her disappearance. Ms. Velásquez Paiz's family attempted three times throughout the night and early morning hours to file a police report and obtain help in their search. Ms. Velásquez Paiz's body was discovered the next morning; she had been severely beaten and sexually assaulted. The Court found that the State violated the American Convention on Human Rights and the Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women for failing to take action in Ms. Velásquez Paiz's case, and overall for failing to take steps to address the climate of gender-based violence in the State.
Case Summary: Velásquez Paiz et al. v. Guatemala, Case Summary