Press Release

IACHR Grants Precautionary Measure in Favor of Narly Gómez Jiménez and Her Daughter in Colombia, Noting that Both Face Serious, Urgent Risks

April 23, 2020

A+ A-

Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 18/2020 on April 22, 2020, to grant precautionary measures in favor of Narly Gómez Jiménez and her daughter in Colombia, in the belief that both face a serious, urgent risk. The mother’s fate and whereabouts are currently unknown, while her daughter has so far not been granted psychological assistance and no action has been taken to adequately protect her.

To make this decision, the IACHR took into consideration the fact that the disappearance of women requires thorough search efforts and that the police, public prosecutors, and court officials need to act immediately and to take timely action to establish victims’ whereabouts, as well as adequately handling complaints and ensuring that allegations immediately result in effective investigations. The authorities must also presume that a missing person is alive until uncertainty concerning their fate ends. Further, the Commission noted that—despite the fundamental principle that ensures the right of women and girls to live free from violence—justice systems struggle to provide the protection and the judicial safeguards that would preserve the dignity and safety of women who file complaints concerning acts of violence against them. Similarly, the Commission warned that the State needs to translate into specific, concrete action the increased protection that must be granted to children who are direct or collateral victims of violence.

After assessing all the available information, in keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR asked Colombia to take any measures necessary to establish the fate, whereabouts, and condition of Narly Gómez Jiménez, in order to protect her rights to life and personal integrity; and to take any measures necessary to protect the rights of the child V.T.M.G. and report on any action taken to investigate the alleged events that gave rise to the adoption of this resolution, to prevent such events from happening again in the future.

The fact that this precautionary measure has been granted and its 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 American Convention on Human Rights and other 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. 089/20