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Molina-Theissen v. Guatemala 

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Court/Judicial body: Inter-American Court of Human Rights 
Date: 3 July 2004 
Instrument(s) cited: American Convention on Human Rights 

Case summary

Marco Antonio Molina Theissen, a 14-year-old boy, was kidnapped from his father’s home by members of the Guatemalan Army during a period of internal conflict in the country.  He was detained, disappeared, and never again seen by his family.  Following the State’s subsequent failure to investigate the child’s disappearance, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights filed a complaint alleging that Guatemala had violated Articles 4 (right to life), 5 (right to humane treatment), 7 (right to personal liberty), 8 (right to fair trial), 19 (rights of the child) and 25 (right to judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights. The Court found Guatemala responsible for all of the rights violations claimed and ordered, among other things, that the State provide compensation to the victim’s family, undertake an effective investigation of the boy’s disappearance to punish those responsible for his forced disappearance, and adopt procedures to aid in the identification of missing children.

Link to full judgement: