IACHR Publishes Report on Case of Carlos Mario Muñoz Gómez, in Colombia, Concerning Disappearance and Extrajudicial Execution

December 10, 2021

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to approve friendly settlement agreement 336/21 in Case 13,571—Carlos Mario Muñoz Gómez, Colombia, and to publish the relevant report. The case concerns the State's international responsibility for Muñoz Gómez' arrest, disappearance, and subsequent extrajudicial execution in 1990, perpetrated by members of the National Police, and for the failure to investigate these events in a timely manner and to provide comprehensive redress for the victim's family.

In July 2019, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding to seek a friendly settlement, which led on March 4, 2021, to the signing of this agreement in Bogotá. In the agreement, the Colombian State acknowledged its international responsibility for omitting to do its duty to protect the rights to life (Article 4), humane treatment (Article 5), personal liberty (Article 7), a fair trial and judicial protection (Articles 8.1 and 25), and privacy (Article 11) held in the American Convention on Human Rights, to the detriment of Carlos Mario Muñoz Gómez. The State committed to implementing the following redress measures: (1) holding a virtual event to acknowledge its responsibility; (2) posting this friendly settlement agreement on the National Police website; (3) addressing this case in Defense Ministry training sessions; and (4) providing financial compensation through the mechanism that was set up by Act 288 of 1996.

In friendly settlement report 336/21, the IACHR highlighted compliance with measures concerning the event to acknowledge responsibility and issue a public apology and noted that other commitments remained pending. The Commission will therefore continue to monitor this agreement until full implementation has been verified.

The IACHR commends both parties on their efforts while negotiating this friendly settlement agreement, which turned out to be compatible with the Convention's aims and purposes. The Commission commends the State on its efforts to develop a public policy concerning friendly settlements and alternative 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. 338/21

6:30 PM