IACHR Publishes Friendly Settlement Agreement on Petition 1617-12, Concerning the Failure to Investigate and Punish a Homicide in Colombia

November 9, 2022

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to approve the friendly settlement agreement concerning Petition 1617-12—Domingo José Rivas Coronado, Colombia—and to publish approval report 169/22. This case concerns the State's international responsibility for the failure to investigate the homicide of Domingo José Rivas Coronado.

On April 5, 2021, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding in search of a friendly settlement and agreed on a schedule for negotiations that led to the signing of a friendly settlement agreement on December 20, 2021. In this agreement, the State acknowledged its international responsibility for omitting to do its duty to protect the rights held in Articles 8 (right to a fair trial) and 25 (right to judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights, in accordance with Article 1.1 of the Convention, to the detriment of Domingo José Rivas Coronado, which meant that his killers were never identified, tried, or punished.

The State committed to implementing the following redress measures: (1) holding an event to acknowledge its responsibility and presenting the victim's family with a memorial plaque during the event; (2) posting this friendly settlement agreement on the website of the National Legal Defense Agency; (3) providing educational support to the victim's family; (4) coordinating health restoration measures for the victim's family, including medical, psychological, and psychiatric care; (5) asking the Public Prosecutor's Office to assess the option of requesting a review on the criminal proceedings that dealt with the events of May 14, 1990, in which Domingo José Rivas Coronado was killed; and (6) providing financial compensation through the mechanism that was set up by Act 288 of 1996.

In friendly settlement report 169/22, the IACHR highlighted compliance with measures concerning the event to acknowledge responsibility and noted that other commitments remained pending, including the presentation of the memorial plaque (which, according to the agreement, was to be handed over during the second half of 2022). The Commission will therefore continue to monitor this agreement until full implementation has been verified.

The Commission acknowledges the efforts made by both parties to negotiate a friendly settlement agreement that is compatible with the Convention's goals and purposes. The IACHR commends the State on its efforts to develop a public policy concerning friendly settlements and conflict-resolution. The IACHR invites the State to continue to use the friendly settlement mechanism to resolve other cases that are currently being addressed in the individual petition and case system. The Commission congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to take part in negotiations and to seek implementation of this agreement.

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. 252/22

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