Press Release

IACHR Condemns Murder of Luis Ever Casamachín Yule in Colombia

December 5, 2011

Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder in Colombia of Luis Ever Casamachín Yule, a member of the Nasa indigenous peoples and beneficiary of precautionary measures granted by the IACHR on November 10, 2011.

The available information indicates that on November 23, 2011, four armed individuals allegedly entered in the estate San Rafael, of the community of the Toribio indigenous reserve. The information received indicates that the agressors, who allegedly identified themselves as members of the paramilitary groups, took the cell phones of the members of the community who were present, threatened to kill them and left them locked in a house, taking Luis Ever Casamachín Yule with them. After several hours of search, members of the community found his tied-up body.

Luis Ever Casamachín Yule was beneficiary of precautionary measures granted by the IACHR on November 10, 2011, in favor of the members of the Nasa People, in the Toribio, San Francisco, Tacueyo and Jambalo reserves, in Colombia. In the request for precautionary measures, it was alleged that the members of the Nasa indigenous people in these four contiguous reserves are in a high risk situation due to the armed conflict in the north of the department of Cauca, and that they have been victims of homicides, forced disappearances and other forms of violence. The request also alleged that in spite of the recognition of the risk situation of the Nasa people on the part of the authorities, the necessary and sufficient measures to protect them have not been adopted.

The Inter-American Commission views as extremely serious the fact that the State of Colombia had not adopted the necessary measures to protect the life and integrity of Luis Ever Casamachín Yule, considering the precautionary measures in effect that had been granted by the IACHR and the situation of threats and harassment that the inhabitants of these reserves had been suffering. The IACHR calls to mind that it is the State's obligation to take the initiative to investigate this crime and to punish those responsible. The IACHR also calls on the State to immediately adopt all necessary measures to guarantee the right to life, integrity, and security of the other beneficiaries of these measures.

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 human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 125/11