IACHR Publishes Friendly Settlement Agreement on Case Concerning the Torture and Extrajudicial Killing of Geovanni Aguirre Soto in Colombia

September 11, 2023

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to approve the friendly settlement agreement concerning Case 14,719—Geovanni Aguirre Soto, Colombia—and to publish approval report 116/23.

This case concerns the international responsibility of the Colombian State for the unlawful detention, torture, and extrajudicial killing of Geovanni Aguirre Soto on June 8, 2002, in the city of Medellín, in Antioquia.

On May 10, 2022, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding in search of a friendly settlement and pursued negotiations that led to the signing of a friendly settlement agreement on October 25, 2022.

In this agreement, the Colombian State acknowledged its international responsibility for violations of the rights held in Articles 3 (right to juridical personality), 4 (right to life), 5 (right to humane treatment), 7 (right to personal liberty), 8 (right to a fair trial), and 25 (right to judicial protection) of the American Convention, in accordance with Articles 1.1 (obligation to respect rights) and 2 (duty to adopt domestic legal action) of that instrument. The IACHR further acknowledged its international responsibility for violations held in Articles 1 and 6 of the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture and Article I of the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons.

The State committed to implementing the following redress measures: (1) holding an event to acknowledge its responsibility; (2) holding training sessions for officers of the National Police; and (3) providing financial compensation through the mechanism that was set up by Act 288 of 1996.

The IACHR approved the provisos held in this agreement and verified compliance with the event to acknowledge responsibility, which was held through a virtual platform. Since the parties opted to defer compliance with the remaining elements of this friendly settlement agreement until after the Commission had approved it, the Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of the agreed redress measures until full compliance has been attained.

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 Colombian State on its efforts to solve cases that are taken before the petition and case system through the friendly settlement mechanism. The Commission further acknowledges the petitioning party's 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. 215/23

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