IACHR Congratulates State of Colombia on Full Compliance with Friendly Settlement Agreement Regarding Villatina Massacre

March 16, 2021

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Friendly Settlement Report No. 105/05

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Washington, DC—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced its decision to declare full compliance with Friendly Settlement Report No. 105/05 on Case 11.141, the Villatina Massacre, concerning Colombia, which it will cease to monitor.

The case concerns the State of Colombia's international responsibility for the deaths of the children Johanna Mazo Ramírez (8 years old); Johnny Alexander Cardona Ramírez, Ricardo Alexander Hernández, Giovanny Alberto Vallejo Restrepo, Oscar Andrés Ortiz Toro, Ángel Alberto Barón Miranda, Marlon Alberto Álvarez, Nelson Dubán Flórez Viila (all between 15 and 17), and Mauricio Antonio Higuita Ramírez (22) who were allegedly executed by members of the National Police Force in Villatina, Medellín, on November 15, 1992, and for the lack of clarification of these events and convictions for those responsible for them.

On July 29, 2002, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement that was approved by the IACHR on October 27, 2005. As part of the process of verifying the implementation of the friendly settlement agreement, the IACHR assess the actions taken by the Colombian State to comply with the measures in the agreement relating to collective reparations relating to health, education, economic projects, remembrance, and the publication of the agreement.

The most significant impacts of this friendly settlement include a project that was implemented to improve basic health care services for the inhabitants of Villatina, in the form of health center that was built and is now operating in the area. Furthermore, the local primary school was adapted to provide basic secondary education services. The physical layout of the school was redesigned and students were gradually admitted to additional school years. An artwork was also built in the Monument Park in a square in Medellín in memory of the children who died and to make amends and provide moral reparation for the victim's relatives.

The IACHR monitored the process of reaching this friendly settlement closely and was extremely appreciative of both parties' efforts during the negotiation process and the subsequent follow-up stage. By virtue of the information provided by the parties during the process of monitoring implementation of the friendly settlement agreement, the IACHR ruled that this had been fully complied with and thus decided to end its monitoring of the compliance process.

The IACHR applauds the efforts that the Colombian State has made to reach solutions through the individual petition and case system's friendly settlement mechanism and congratulates it on having fully implemented this friendly settlement agreement.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate derives from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The IACHR is composed of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 063/21