Guatemala, May 3, 2008, 11th Avenue. The constitutional court passes sentence on the failure of public health institutions: 11 constitutional lawsuits (Amparo) had to be carried out for Guatemalans to have access to their legitimate right to health.

Justice has been neither quick nor effective, as actions have taken longer than a person should wait to be attended. The Guatemalan human rights Ombudsperson of that time, Jorge de León Duque, had predicted a short term “lack of basic medical care and supplies to control the virus.” His intervention helped as a record on the trial before the Court.


In total, there were 11 constitutional lawsuits, where 81% of plaintiffs, despite being affiliated to the Guatemalan Institute of Social Security (IGSS), could not access healthcare.

Note that during the timespan analyzed (2002 to 2014), using the Legal Network and its Observatory for Human Rights, HIV and PEMAR, most cases won in Court were promoted by the own Guatemalan human rights Ombudsman. When these belonged to an organized civil society or individuals, the court ruled against them.


The Guatemalan government has an online interface for its purchases and contracting system, Guatecompras. According to its records, the total cost of treating people who got their treatment through a constitutional lawsuit is Q 344,475.94. However, not all lawsuits are shown in this platform.

The medications acquired through an constitutional lawsuit that need to be restocked most frequently are Truvada, Efavirenz and Rosuvastatin, and the medical units that were forced to acquire them the most were: the Hospital of Common Diseases and the Diseases Outpatient Unit.


IGSS clinic located in zone 9 of the capital is the weakest link of a chain that seems to be about to break. During 2017 alone, this clinic received 35 reports from affiliates who complained about antiretroviral medicine shortage during more than 25 successive days.

Combinations of NRTIs are the scarcest medications. Commercially known as Truvada, this antiretroviral was requested over 35 times by patients, but medical services could not provide it.