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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Inter-American Court of Human Rights condemns Costa Rica

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights presided over by Judge Ricardo Pérez Manrique, condemns Costa Rica for discrimination against disabled worker Guevara Díaz.

In 2003, Mr. Guevara Díaz was dismissed from his position as miscellaneous at the Ministry of Finance. Both in the domestic proceedings and the admissibility and merits proceedings before the IACHR, the violation of his rights was alleged, as he was discriminated against because of his disability.

During the public hearing held on March 24, 2022, Costa Rica acknowledged its international responsibility. Also, a public apology was offered to Fernando Guevara Díaz and his family members.

The Costa Rican representation emphasized that what happened, in this case, was completely atypical, departing from the efforts that the State has historically undertaken to ensure the social inclusion of persons with disabilities, as well as the development of effective measures to improve their quality of life in all areas.

The IACHR unanimously determined that the State was responsible for violating Guevara’s rights. The Court stated that Costa Rica infringed the right to work, equality before the law, and judicial guarantees and protection, established in Articles 8, 24, 25, and 26 of the American Convention.

As part of the reparation measures, the IACHR ordered the adoption of all necessary measures for Fernando Guevara to be appointed to a job of equal or higher hierarchy than the one for which he competed or to another position that suits his skills and needs.

In addition, a training plan for officials of the Ministry of Finance on equality and non-discrimination of persons with disabilities must be implemented. 

“From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we have believed, with full conviction, that the defense of these matters must be governed by the principles of the Costa Rican Rule of Law. The State will comply with this judgment according to the principle of good faith that guides compliance with the conventional obligations”, said Foreign Minister Arnoldo André.

The country must implement corrective and preventive measures to stop this from happening. The facts that support the present case are reprehensible since every individual in a situation of vulnerability must enjoy special protection and full rights.

This is the second conviction the IACHR has issued against Costa Rica in the past week. Previously, the IACHR sanctioned the country for violating the freedom of the press of two journalists of La Nación.

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