N° 57/08




Washington, D.C., December 1, 2008 — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights against Colombia on November 14, 2008, in Case No. 12.531, Manuel Cepeda Vargas.


The case involves the extrajudicial execution of Senator Manuel Cepeda Vargas on August 9, 1994, in Bogotá. The victim was a leader of the National Directorate of the Colombian Communist Party and a high-profile member of the political party Union Patriotica. The application concerns the lack of due diligence in the investigation and the lack of punishment of those responsible for the execution and the subsequent obstruction of justice; it also involves the lack of adequate reparations to the victim’s relatives.


The case was taken to the Inter-American Court because the Commission determined that the State had not complied with substantive recommendations contained in the report on the merits approved by the IACHR in accordance with Article 50 of the American Convention on Human Rights. In the report, the Commission concluded that the State of Colombia is responsible for violating the rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights as a result of its failure to adopt the measures necessary to protect the life of Senator Manuel Cepeda Vargas and its lack of due diligence in the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of those responsible, among other aspects.


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 Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.



Useful links:

Report on Admissibility on Case 11.227 (from which Case 12.531 was later separated and processed independently)

Applications filed with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

IACHR Web site


Read this press release in Spanish / Lea este comunicado de prensa en español


Press contact: María Isabel Rivero
Tel. (202) 458-3867
Cell: (202) 215-4142

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