IACHR Announces Working Visit to Colombia in Response to Social Protests

June 4, 2021

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Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is to conduct a working visit to Colombia between June 8 and 10 to observe the human rights situation in the country in the context of the protests that began on April 28. Over the course of the days mentioned above, the IACHR will visit Bogotá and Cali to meet, engage in dialogue with, and receive information from various sectors of society. In this regard, it wishes to thank the State for its invitation, its openness to the visit, and for agreeing to the proposed dates.

The delegation will be led by the President of the IACHR, Commissioner Antonia Urrejola; and will also include Commissioners Joel Hernández and Stuardo Ralón; with the support of the Executive Secretary, Tania Reneaum Panszi; the Assistant Executive Secretary for Monitoring, Technical Cooperation, and Training, María Claudia Pulido; the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Pedro Vaca; and members of the Executive Secretariat technical team.

During this working visit, the IACHR will meet with various sectors representing Colombian society, including government authorities from different levels of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; and representatives of civil society organizations, associations, trade unions, and representatives of other sectors that have been affected by the protests. One of the IACHR's specific aims during the visit is to listen to victims of human rights violations and their families and to receive testimonies, allegations, and other messages from them. Organizations interested in taking part in these meetings should complete this form and follow the instructions contained in it.

Testimonies will be given in person but must be scheduled through the testimony portal as part of the health protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For health reasons, a limited number of appointments are available and only those who have registered and received a confirmation email with a date, time, and location will be able to attend. However, the IACHR remains committed to hearing from all people and will continue to receive testimonies online, at a date and time that will be communicated to each applicant.

Likewise, the IACHR noted that it will not be able to receive documentary material of any type or applications on paper. Any new petitions and/or requests for precautionary measures and related supporting information should only be submitted online through the IACHR portal. Please send any technical queries on the IACHR portal via email to [email protected]. Any other inquiries or requests for information should be sent to [email protected]. 

The IACHR expressed its appreciation for the State of Colombia's openness to cooperation and dialogue as part of its human rights obligations to the inter-American system, and is grateful for its willingness to receive the IACHR delegation. It also announced that it has decided to cancel the ex officio hearing scheduled for June 29 as part of the 180th Period of Sessions.

Finally, the IACHR once again expressed its ongoing commitment to the victims of human rights violations and their families.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate derives from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The IACHR is composed 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. 143/21