IACHR Publishes Friendly Settlement Agreement on the Disappearance of Hugo León in Colombia

December 18, 2023

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Washington, DC—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced its decision to approve and publish the friendly settlement agreement for Case 13.780, Hugo Ferney León Londoño and family, through Approval Report No. 209/23.

The case concerns the international responsibility of the Colombian State for the disappearance of Hugo Ferney Londoño in the city of Cali between December 21 and 22, 1988, while he was working for the National Police Force Special Operations Group (GOES), and the subsequent lack of an effective investigation of the events and punishment of those responsible for the alleged disappearance.

On October 24, 2022, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement in which the State acknowledged its international responsibility for violating the rights recognized in articles 4 (life), 5 (personal integrity), 8 (judicial guarantees), and 25 (judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights in relation to article 1.1.

In the agreement, the State undertook to implement the following reparation measures: 1) hold a ceremony to acknowledge responsibility; 2) publish the approval report for the friendly settlement agreement on the website of the National Agency for State Legal Defense within six months; 3) implement justice and search initiatives; and 4) grant financial reparation through the application of Law 288 of 1996.

The IACHR approved the terms of the agreement and welcomed the fact that the State had acknowledged responsibility. It deemed that full compliance had been achieved on the measures relating to the public ceremony to acknowledge responsibility, which was held via an online platform, and that partial compliance had been achieved with the justice and search initiatives. The other points of the agreement are still pending, and the IACHR will therefore continue to monitor it and verify compliance until it has confirmed that all points have been fully implemented.

The IACHR acknowledged the efforts made by both parties during negotiation to reach a friendly settlement agreement that was consistent with the object and purpose of the Inter-American Convention. It also welcomed the efforts made by the Colombian State to resolve matters pending before the individual petition and case system. It also acknowledged the efforts of the petitioning party and appreciated its willingness to participate in the negotiations and to advance this friendly settlement process.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate stems from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has the mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as an advisory body to the OAS on the matter. The IACHR is made up of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 296/23

6:00 PM