IACHR Welcomes Full Compliance with the Friendly Settlement Agreement in Case 13,728—Amira Guzmán de Alonso and Family, Colombia

July 5, 2023

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to declare full compliance with friendly settlement report 21/20, concerning Case 13,728—Amira Guzmán de Alonso and Family, Colombia—and will stop monitoring it.

This case concerns the international responsibility of the Colombian State for failing to investigate Amira Guzmán's homicide on October 4, 1988, and to punish the people responsible for it. Guzmán was allegedly kidnapped by three unidentified men and her body was found three days later near the Orteguaza River, in an area where various rebel groups were active.

On November 5, 2019, the parties signed a friendly settlement agreement that was approved by the IACHR on April 13, 2020. During the process to verify the implementation of this friendly settlement agreement, the Commission assessed the action taken by the Colombian State to ensure compliance with the commitments it had made in the agreement.

The IACHR found that the State had held an event in the municipality of Puerto Rico, in the department of Caquetá, to acknowledge its responsibility and to issue a public apology. The event was chaired by the head of the National Agency for the State's Legal Defense, who apologized to the victim's family in the name of the Colombian State and acknowledged the State's responsibility. The State also posted the Article 49 Report on the websites of the Presidential Department for Human Rights and International Affairs and the National Agency for the State's Legal Defense.

One of the most significant aspects of this agreement involved the unveiling of a plaque in Caucheros Park, in Puerto Rico, to honor Guzmán as a working woman and a pioneer in trade in the area of the Guayas, Caguán, and Orteguaza Rivers. The State also paid financial compensation to the beneficiaries.

The Inter-American Commission closely followed the implementation of this friendly settlement and commended both parties on their efforts in negotiations and during the monitoring stage of the agreement. Based on information provided by the parties, the IACHR declared that full compliance had been attained and ended its supervision of compliance with this friendly settlement agreement.

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 and on its work to achieve full implementation of this agreement. The Commission further congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to take part in negotiations and to promote this friendly settlement.

Please click here to access the technical information sheet for this case.

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. 147/23

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