The petition and case system



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Case 11.654, Report No. 62/01, Ríofrío Massacre (Colombia)


  1. In Report No. 62/01 of April 6, 2001, the Commission concluded that the State was responsible for the violation of the right to life, enshrined in Article 4 of the American Convention, in the massacre perpetrated by State agents and members of paramilitary groups of the following persons: Miguel Enrique Ladino Largo, Miguel Antonio Ladino Ramírez, María Cenaida Ladino Ramírez, Carmen Emilia Ladino Ramírez, Julio Cesar Ladino Ramírez, Lucely Colorado, Dora Estela Gaviria Ladino, Celso Mario Molina, Rita Edelia de Molina, Ricardo Molina, Freddy Molina, Luz Edelsy Tusarma Salazar, and Hugo Cedeño Lozano. In addition, it concluded that the State was responsible for having breached its special duty of protection, under Article 19 of the American Convention, to the detriment of minors Dora Estella Gaviria Ladino and Luz Edelsy Tusarma Salazar. The Commission also concluded that the Colombian State was responsible for violating the right to humane treatment, enshrined in Article 5 of the Convention, to the detriment of Hugo Cerdeño Lozano, Miguel Ladino, Cenaida Ladino, Ricardo Molina Solarte, and Celso Mario Molina Sauza, and of breaching its duty to provide effective judicial protection to the victims in this case under Articles 8 and 25 of the American Convention, in conjunction with Article 1(1) of the same.




  1. The IACHR made the following recommendations to the Colombian State:

1. Conduct an impartial and effective investigation in ordinary jurisdiction with a view to prosecuting and punishing those materially and intellectually responsible.


2. Take steps to ensure that the families of the victims are duly compensated.
3. Take steps to prevent any future occurrence of similar events in accordance with its duty to prevent and guarantee the basic rights recognized in the American Convention, as well as adopting the measures necessary to give full force and effect to the doctrine developed by the Constitutional Court of Colombia and by the Inter-American Commission in investigating and prosecuting similar cases through the ordinary criminal justice system.


  1. On December 4, 2009, the State reported that the proceedings had been reassigned to the Office of Special Prosecutor No. 48 of the International Humanitarian Law Unit of the Office of the Attorney General, which is currently in the stage of collecting evidence as ordered by the investigating prosecutor.




  1. The State submitted information on the implementation of policies regarding human rights and international humanitarian law to be applied to all members of the Security Forces, on measures taken to forward cases linked to possible human rights violations from military to ordinary justice, as well as on proposed legislation to reform military criminal justice that are currently in process in the Congress of the Republic. These legislative bills, the State said, were based on the parameters established by the Commission and the Court in their legal precedents. The petitioners did not respond to the request for information.




  1. Based on the foregoing, the Commission concludes that there has been partial compliance with the recommendations. Therefore, the Commission will continue to monitor the items that remain pending.


Case 11.710, Report No. 63/01, Carlos Manuel Prada González, and Evelio Antonio Bolaño Castro (Colombia)


  1. In Report No. 63/01 of April 6, 2001, the Commission established that the State was responsible for violating the American Convention at Articles 4, to the detriment of Evelio Antonio Bolaño Castro; 4 and 5, to the detriment of Carlos Manuel Prada González; and 8(1), 25, and 1(1) to the detriment of both victims and their families. This was as the result of the extrajudicial execution, at the hands of state agents, of Carlos Manuel Prada González and Evelio Antonio Bolaño Castro, and the failure to judicially clarify the incident.




  1. The IACHR made the following recommendations to the State:

1. Carry out a full, impartial, and effective investigation within the ordinary jurisdiction with a view to judging and punishing those responsible for the extrajudicial execution of Carlos Manuel Prada and Evelio Antonio Bolaño Castro


2. Adopt the measures necessary to ensure that the victims’ next-of-kin receive adequate and timely reparations for the violations determined in the Report.
3. Take the steps necessary to prevent any future occurrence of similar events in accordance with its duty to prevent and guarantee the basic rights recognized in the American Convention, as well as adopt the measures necessary to give full force and effect to the doctrine developed by the Constitutional Court of Colombia and by the Inter-American Commission in investigating and prosecuting similar cases through the ordinary penal justice system.


  1. In a note received on December 4, 2009, the State reported that in consideration of Report 63/01 and the request forwarded by the Special Agent of the Office of the Inspector General of the Nation, there is currently an ongoing criminal investigation by the Office of Specialized Prosecutor No. 16 of the Unit of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law of the Office of the Attorney General, under control number 4417 for the crime of homicide. The State also said that on December 23, 2008, a decision to file charges was issued against 15 persons, including measures to ensure their presence in court. This decision was confirmed by the Office of the Prosecutor No. 26 in the jurisdiction of the Superior Court of Bogotá, on June 12, 2009.




  1. The State reported that Section Three of the Council of State handed down a judgment on March 26, 2009 ordering the State to indemnify the next of kin of Carlos Prada and Evelio Morales for non pecuniary damages and that the Ministry of Defense issued Decision No. 46014 of October 27, 2009, ordering the payment of damages.




  1. The State also submitted information on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law policies to be applied to all members of the Security Forces, on measures aimed at transferring cases linked to possible human rights violations from the military courts to the regular courts, as well as proposed reforms to the military criminal justice system currently before the Congress of the Republic. It mentioned that those proposed reforms would be based on the parameters established by the Commission and the Court in their precedents. The petitioners did not respond to the request for information.




  1. Based on the foregoing, the Commission concludes that there has been partial compliance with the recommendations. Therefore, the Commission will continue to monitor pending items.


Case 11.712, Report No. 64/01, Leonel de Jesús Isaza Echeverry (Colombia)


  1. In Report No. 64/01 of April 6, 2001, the Commission concluded that the State was responsible for violating the right to life of Leonel de Jesús Isaza Echeverry, enshrined in Article 4 of the American Convention; the right to human treatment of Ms. María Fredesvinda Echeverry, enshrined in Article 5 of the American Convention; the right to humane treatment and the breach of the obligation to adopt special measures of protection with regard to the child Lady Andrea Isaza Pinzón, established in Articles 5 and 19 of the American Convention; as well as the breach of the duty to afford effective judicial protection to the victims of this case, in keeping with Articles 8 and 25, in conjunction with Article 1(1) of the Convention. This case has to do with the responsibility of state agents for the death of Mr. Leonel de Jesús Isaza Echeverry, the harm to the personal integrity of Ms. María Fredesvinda Echeverry and the child Lady Andrea Isaza Pinzón, and the failure to clarify these events judicially.




  1. The IACHR made the following recommendations to the Colombian State:

1. Conduct an impartial and effective investigation before ordinary jurisdiction for the purpose of judging and sanctioning those responsible for the extrajudicial execution of Mr. Leonel de Jesús Isaza Echeverry.


2. Adopt the measures necessary to redress the consequences of the violations committed against María Fredesvinda Echeverry and Lady Andrea Isaza Pinzón, as well as providing due indemnity for the relatives of Leonel de Jesús Isaza Echeverry.
3. Take the steps necessary to prevent any future occurrence of similar events in accordance with its duty to prevent and guarantee the basic rights recognized in the American Convention, as well as adopting the measures necessary to give full force and effect to the doctrine developed by the Constitutional Court of Colombia and by the Inter-American Commission in investigating and prosecuting similar cases through the ordinary criminal justice system.


  1. The Office of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law of the Ministry of Foreign Relations reported that it reiterated to the Coordinator of Specialized Procurator Offices the request to study the possibility of carrying out an action of review in relation to that ruling, who responded to the request saying that a review action is legally inappropriate in the instant case. The Commission observes with concern that said proceeding, carried out under military criminal jurisdiction, which ended in the acquittal of the members of the National Army in the military criminal court, has yet to be transferred to the regular criminal courts.




  1. The State reiterated that by Payment Resolution No. 2512 the conciliation agreement was carried out, as the payment of compensation was made to María Fredesvina Echeverri de Isaza and Lady Andrea Isaza Pinzón. The State submitted information on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law policies applicable to all members of the Security Forces, on measures to forward cases linked with possible human rights violations from military to ordinary justice, and on legislative proposals to reform military criminal justice that are currently in process in the Congress of the Republic. It added that these legislative bills were based on the parameters established by the Commission and the Court in their precedents. The petitioners did not respond to the request for information.




  1. Based on the foregoing, the Commission concludes that there has been partial compliance with the recommendations. Therefore, the Commission shall continue to monitor pending items.


Case 11.141, Report No. 105/05, Villatina Massacre (Colombia)


  1. On July 29, 2002, by Report No. 105/0518, the Commission approved and recognized the partial implementation of a friendly settlement agreement signed on July 29, 1998, in the case known as the “Villatina Massacre.”  In summary, the petition alleged the responsibility of state agents in the massacre of children Johana Mazo Ramírez, Johny Alexander Cardona Ramírez, Ricardo Alexander Hernández, Giovanny Alberto Vallejo Restrepo, Oscar Andrés Ortiz Toro, Ángel Alberto Barón Miranda, Marlon Alberto Álvarez, Nelson Dubán Flórez Villa, and the youth Mauricio Antonio Higuita Ramírez, perpetrated on November 15, 1992 in the Villatina neighborhood of the city of Medellín.




  1. That friendly settlement agreement incorporates the terms of an agreement originally signed on May 27, 1998, in the course of an initial attempt to reach a friendly settlement in the matter. The agreement recognizes the responsibility of the State for the violation of the American Convention, the right to justice and individual reparation for the victims’ next-of-kin, as well as an element of social reparation with components related to health, education, and a productive project. In addition, it provides for erecting a monument in a park in the city of Medellín so as to recover the historical memory of the victims. The Commission observes that the operative part of the agreement reflects the recommendations of the Committee to Give Impetus to the Administration of Justice (Comité de Impulso para la Administración de Justicia) created in the context of the agreement originally signed on May 27, 1998.




  1. In Report No. 105/05, the Commission highlighted the implementation by the State of a large part of the commitments assumed in the agreement, and it called on it to continue carrying out the rest of the commitments assumed, in particular the commitment to provide effective guarantees and judicial protection to the victims and their next-of-kin, as prescribed in Articles 8(1) and 25 of the American Convention, by continuing the investigation into the facts so as to allow for the identification, prosecution, and sanction of the persons responsible.




  1. The State, on December 14, 2009, reported with respect to the commitments pending implementation. It indicated that at present a preliminary investigation is under way in the Human Rights Unit of the Office of the Attorney General, and that the office in charge ordered a series of measures be taken to make progress in determining the possible perpetrators and accomplices of the events that are the subject matter of the case. It also reported that the entities with jurisdiction are studying the possibility of presenting a complaint seeking a review of the proceedings that concluded favorably for the persons being investigated. The petitioners did not respond to the request for information.




  1. Based on the foregoing, the Commission concludes that there has been partial compliance with the friendly settlement agreement. Therefore, the Commission shall continue to monitor pending items.


Case 10.205, Report No. 53/06, Germán Enrique Guerra Achuri (Colombia)


  1. On March 16, 2006, by Report No. 53/0619, the Commission approved a friendly settlement agreement in the case of Germán Guerra Achuri. In summary, the petition alleged state responsibility in the events of February 8, 1988, at the workers’ encampment on the “La Perla” farm situated in the municipality of Remedios, Antioquia, as a result of which Mr. Guerra Achurri lost a leg.




  1. In the friendly settlement agreement, the State undertook as follows:

1. To make reparations for the material and moral damages sustained by Mr. Germán Enrique Guerra Achurri as a result of the incidents of February 8, 1988, at the La Perla estate workers’ camp, located in the municipality of Remedios, Antioquia Department, as a consequence of which Mr. Guerra Achurri lost a leg.



2. Request the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation to file an action seeking review of the January 23, 1995 ruling of the Military Criminal Court.


  1. The State reported on December 10, 2009, that by Resolution No. 3003 of July 15, 2008 payment for reparations was made to Mr. Guerra Achurri.




  1. The State reiterated that the decision on the action for review is pending before the Chamber of Criminal Cassation of the Supreme Court of Justice. The petitioners did not respond to the request for information.




  1. Based on the foregoing, the Commission concludes that there has been partial compliance with the friendly settlement agreement. Therefore, the Commission will continue to monitor the pending items.


Case 12.009, Report No. 43/08 Leydi Dayán Sánchez (Colombia)


  1. On February 28, 2006, the Commission approved a report pursuant to Article 50 of the American Convention by which it concluded that the State was responsible for violating the rights to life, judicial guarantees, rights of the child, and right to judicial protection, corresponding to Articles 4, 8, 19, and 25 of the American Convention in relation to its Article 1(1), to the detriment of the child Leydi Dayán Sánchez Tamayo, and that the State had violated the rights to judicial guarantees and judicial protection corresponding to Articles 8 and 25 of the American Convention in relation to Article 1(1) of that international instrument, to the detriment of the next-of-kin of Leydi Dayán Sánchez Tamayo. This case has to do with the responsibility of state agents in the death of the child Leydi Dayán Sánchez Tamayo, which occurred on March 21, 1998, in Ciudad Kennedy, Bogotá, and the failure to clarify the facts of the case judicially.




  1. With the approval of the referenced report, the Commission established a series of deadlines for the State to carry out the recommendation made therein in relation to truth, justice, and reparation. After considering the information provided by both parties and the actions carried out by the State in furtherance of the recommendations on promoting an action for review before the regular courts, the ceremonies to recover the historical memory of Leydi Dayán Sánchez, the trainings for the National Police on the use of firearms in keeping with the principles of necessity, exceptionality, and proportionality; and the payment of compensation to the victim’s next-of-kin, it decided to issue Report 43/08 pursuant to Article 51 of the American Convention, and to publish it.




  1. In its Report, the Commission indicated that while the investigation that is currently under way before the regular courts had not yielded results, one should value the impetus given to the action for review, specifically, the decision of the Chamber of Criminal Cassation of the Supreme Court of Justice, which declared the grounds for review that set aside the judgments of acquittal handed down by the military criminal courts based on the conclusion adopted in the Article 50 report, and ordered that the case be removed to the Office of the Attorney General so that a new investigation could be initiated before the regular courts. Nonetheless, given that the information provided by the State did not indicate that the review process had produced any results in relation to implementation of the recommendation on administration of justice, on July 23, 2008, by Report No. 43/08, the IACHR made the following recommendation to the State:

1. Carry out an impartial and effective investigation in the general jurisdiction with a view to prosecuting and punishing those responsible for the death of Leydi Dayán Sánchez Tamayo.




  1. By communication received December 11, 2009, the State reported that by a January 22, 2009 decision, the Office of the Prosecutor No. 49 in the jurisdiction of the Superior Court of Bogotá overturned the October 31, 2008 decision definitively closing the investigation. The State maintained that the decision declaring the expiry of the statute of limitations delayed the normal course of the proceedings but that corrective measures had been taken and that to date the proceedings are in the judicial stage. It reported that at this time the criminal proceeding is under the Thirty-ninth Criminal Court of the Circuit of Bogotá and that a public hearing is pending. The petitioners did not respond to the request for information.




  1. Based on the foregoing, the Commission concludes that there has been partial compliance with the recommendation. Therefore, the Commission will continue to monitor the items pending.


Case 12.448, Report No. 44/08 Sergio Emilio Cadena Antolinez (Colombia)


  1. In Report No. 44/08 of July 23, 2008, the Commission concluded that the State was responsible for violating the right to judicial protection of Sergio Emilio Cadena Antolinez, enshrined in Article 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights, as well as the generic obligation to respect and ensure the rights protected, set out at Article 1(1) of that Convention. In addition, it concluded that as reparation had been made for the material harm caused Mr. Cadena Antolinez during the course of the processing of his case before the IACHR, there was no violation of Article 21, and that there were no violations of Articles 2 or 8 of the American Convention. This case has to do with the responsibility of the Colombian State for depriving access to an effective judicial remedy for determining the rights of Sergio Emilio Cadena Antolinez due to contempt of Judgment No. SU-1185/2001 of the Constitutional Court, issued November 13, 2001, by the Chamber for Labor Cassation of the Supreme Court of Justice (a situation known as “choque de trenes,” or conflicting jurisdictional claims).




  1. The Commission made the following recommendations to the State:

1. Adopt the necessary measures to avoid future violations of the right to judicial protection enshrined in the American Convention, pursuant to the obligation of prevention and guarantee of the fundamental rights recognized by the American Convention.



 

2. With respect to the non-pecuniary damage caused to Mr. Cadena Antolínez as a result of the violation of his right to judicial protection, it is the opinion of the Commission that the instant report constitutes in itself reparation.




  1. On December 4, 2009, the State informed that the Constitutional Court reported on Decision 100 issued by its Full Chamber, establishing that, faced with the “train wreck,” the affected parties have two options: (i) to appear before any judge of the Republic for processing and decision, or (ii) to comply with the appropriate requirements and file a petition for constitutional protection with the General Secretariat of the Constitutional Court towards obtaining an eventual review. The State also reported that the Labor and Criminal Cassation Chambers of the Supreme Court of Justice recently decided on their own authority to process and decide the petitions for constitutional protection filed against the judicial decisions of that body, and to forward the case file to the Constitutional Court for an eventual review of judicial decisions.




  1. The State reported, in addition, that the Full Chamber of the Constitutional Court approved, in its December 3, 2008 session, an amendment to its Internal Rules of Procedure, adding a second paragraph to article 54 A. This paragraph establishes that once petitions for constitutional protection against judicial decisions taken by the Supreme Court and the Council of State have been selected, the petitions must be forwarded to the Full Chamber of the Constitutional Court, for it to determine whether or not it will perform a review based on the monthly report presented to it beginning in March 2009. It also said that the Constitutional Court issued decision 124 of March 25, 2009, adopting measures to resolve conflicts of jurisdiction among the courts.




  1. The State reported that, based on its priority of jurisdiction, the Constitutional Court has intervened to enforce the orders issued by the Full Chamber or the Chambers for Constitutional Protection Review, as in the case of Sergio Emilio Cadena Antolínez.




  1. It also reported that the Criminal and Labor Cassation Chambers of the Supreme Court of Justice on their own authority decided in 2008 to process and forward to the Constitutional Court those of their orders against which petitions for constitutional protection had been filed, for purposes of eventual review, in compliance with Decree 2591 of 1991 and article 86 of the Constitution. The petitioners did not respond to the request for information.




  1. Based on the foregoing, the Commission concludes that there has been full compliance with its recommendations.

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