N° 53/08



Washington, D.C., November 25, 2008 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) deeply regrets the violent deaths of seven inmates in the prison of Pavoncito, in the municipality of Fraijanes, Guatemala. The IACHR calls on the State to urgently adopt the necessary measures to prevent similar events from happening again.


According to the information received by the IACHR, on Saturday, November 22, seven inmates were killed and several others were injured in a violent confrontation. According to several news accounts, it took five hours for the authorities to bring the situation under control.


The IACHR deeply regrets these events, expresses solidarity with the families of the inmates who were killed, and underscores that international law requires that the State of Guatemala to guarantee, first and foremost, the life and integrity of all prisoners. The IACHR also recalls that the State has the obligation to conduct an exhaustive investigation of these acts and to prosecute and punish those responsible.


Moreover, the Commission underscores that State human rights obligations include the obligation to adopt all necessary measures to adequately address the current prison situation. In this regard, the IACHR calls on Guatemalan authorities to urgently take appropriate actions and measures to solve the structural problems affecting the country’s prisons. The Commission will closely follow the State’s initiatives in this area.


A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.


Read this press release in Spanish / Lea este comunicado de prensa en español


Press contact: María Isabel Rivero
Tel. (202) 458-3867
Cell: (202) 215-4142

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