IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Social Leaders in Colombia

February 8, 2023

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 4/2023 on February 6, 2023, to grant precautionary measures in favor of Guillermo Andrés Mosquera Miranda, Nidia Marcela Montoya, Carlos Mauricio Mosquera Miranda, and their families in Colombia, in the belief that they face a risk of suffering irreparable harm to their rights.

According to the party who requested these precautionary measures, Guillermo Andrés Mosquera Miranda and his partner, Nidia Marcela Montoya, are teachers and peasant leaders in the department of Cauca. Carlos Mauricio Mosquera Miranda (Guillermo's brother) was a candidate in the 2022 legislative election, to represent the Special Jurisdiction for Peace. The three beneficiaries belong to the Argelia Peasant Workers Association (ASCAMTA).

The party who requested these precautionary measures noted that, since 2018, the beneficiaries have received several death threats from illegal armed groups, suffered several forced displacements, and been targets of other acts of violence. More specifically, Nidia Marcela was declared a military target in 2020, a car bomb exploded near Carlos Mauricio's home in May 2022, and Guillermo Andrés suffered a homicide attempt in November 2022. The party who requested these precautionary measures noted that none of the beneficiaries currently enjoy protection measures.

The State said that its National Protection Unit had granted protection measures in favor of Guillermo Andrés on July 12, 2022. The State further noted that it had included Guillermo Andrés, Nidia Marcela, and their two children in the country's Single Record of Victims. The State also said that the Education and Culture Ministry had taken the relevant protection measures in favor of Guillermo Andrés and Nidia Marcela, in keeping with Colombia's legal framework. Finally, the State said that it had taken measures to protect the lives and personal integrity of Guillermo Andrés and his family and asked the IACHR to decline this request for precautionary measures.

The Commission welcomed the information provided by the State, but noted beneficiaries' vulnerability and the fact that risk factors had not been mitigated. The party who requested these precautionary measures noted persisting death threats and stressed that the protection measures adopted by the State were insufficient. The Commission has also not received information about the course of various investigations of threats alleged by the beneficiaries since 2018. The State failed to provide information concerning the situation of Carlos Mauricio Mosquera Miranda. Beneficiaries' families are allegedly in danger of retaliation, considering the hounding and harassment that the mother and father of Guillermo Andrés and Carlos Mauricio have already been subjected to.

In keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR decided to grant these precautionary measures and asked the State of Colombia to:

  1. Adopt any measures necessary to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of Carlos Mauricio Mosquera Miranda, Guillermo Andrés Mosquera Miranda, Nidia Marcela Montoya, and members of their families
  2. Take all protection measures necessary for beneficiaries to be able to continue to do their work in defense of human rights without suffering threats, intimidation, harassment, and other acts of violence
  3. Come to an agreement with beneficiaries and their representatives concerning any measures that need to be taken
  4. Report on any actions adopted to investigate the events that have given rise to the adoption of this resolution, in order to prevent such events from happening again in the future

The fact that these precautionary measures have been granted and their adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by the applicable instruments.

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

No. 017/23

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