Press Release

IACHR Publishes Report No. 21/20 on Case 13,728—Amira Guzmán and Family, Colombia

May 4, 2020

   Related links

   Contact info

IACHR Press Office
[email protected]

   More on the IACHR
A+ A-

Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) plans to approve the friendly settlement agreement in Case 13,728—Amira Guzmán and Family. The victims, their representatives, and the Colombian State signed this agreement on November 5, 2019.
On December 21, 2007, the IACHR received a petition filed by Leonardo Fidel Guerra-Acero Ospina, representing alleged victims against the State of Colombia. The petition alleged that the State was accountable for failing to investigate and punish the people responsible for events surrounding the kidnapping, attempted forced disappearance, and murder of Ms. Amira Guzmán on October 4, 1988. Ms. Guzmán sold consumer goods in the department of Caquetá, in the areas of the Florencia municipality, Puerto Rico, Río Caguán, and Río Orteguaza.

On July 25, 2019, the parties formally launched negotiations in search of a friendly settlement, which led to the signing of this friendly settlement agreement. In this agreement, the Colombian State acknowledged its international responsibility for violations of Articles 8 (right to a fair trial) and 25 (right to judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights.

The State further committed to providing redress through measures that included holding an event to acknowledge responsibility and issue a public apology, laying a plaque to mark this case, and publishing and publicizing an account of what happened. The agreement also included financial reparation measures for the material and immaterial damage caused to the victim’s family.

In the context of this friendly settlement procedure, the Commission confirmed that the Colombian State had held the event to publicly acknowledge its responsibility on November 29, 2019 at the main park in Los Caucheros, in the municipality of Puerto Rico, Caquetá. The event was chaired by the head of the National Agency for the State’s Legal Defense, who apologized to victims and their families for what happened, in the name of the Colombian State. Also in the context of efforts to acknowledge responsibility for these events, a plaque was laid to honor the memory of Ms. Amira Guzmán at the park in Los Caucheros, in the municipality of Puerto Rico.
The Commission commends the parties for making the most of IACHR facilitation in their negotiations. The IACHR highlights action taken to implement the agreement and urges the Colombian State to keep working to implement pending measures until it attains full compliance with all the commitments it made and provides comprehensive reparations for the victims.

Friendly settlement report no. 21/20, concerning Case 13,728, is available here.

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. 099/20