IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of David Fernández, Missing Young Man in Colombia

July 28, 2023

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Washington, D.C.—On July 28, 2023, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 43/2023, through which it granted precautionary protection measures in favor of David Estiven Fernández Soler in Colombia, after identifying that he is at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their human rights.

According to the petitioning party, 24-year-old David Estiven Fernández Soler is a social activist and Youth Counselor for Kennedy District and has been missing since June 7, 2023. He was reported missing after he telephoned his mother and the International Committee of the Red Cross from the hamlet of Veracruz, Caquetá, stating that he had escaped from the camp of an illegal armed group where he was being held. A few hours later, when a call was put through to his cell phone, a man who identified himself as part of the armed group answered and hung up.

The State reported that the Commission for the Search for Disappeared Persons conducted an alphanumeric search from the date of disappearance; held an interview with technical cross-referencing; and cross-checked variables at the national level using age, sex, and height criteria. The State also noted that on June 30, 2023, it responded to a request for urgent action received by the Committee on Forced Disappearances regarding the alleged disappearance of David Fernández Soler.

The IACHR acknowledged the actions taken by the State and the information it had made available, which indicates that there is no substantial information on the fate or whereabouts of David Estiven Fernández Soler. After analyzing the petition, the IACHR deemed the beneficiary to be at imminent risk. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR requested that the State of Colombia:

  1. adopt the necessary measures to determine the circumstances and whereabouts of David Estiven Fernández Soler, in order to protect his rights to life and personal integrity, and
  2. report on the actions it implements to investigate the alleged events that led to the adoption of this resolution to prevent them from being repeated.

The IACHR's granting of this precautionary measure and its adoption by the State does not entail a prejudgment on any petition that may eventually be filed before the inter-American system to allege that the rights protected by any applicable instruments have been violated.

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. 173/23

5:15 PM