IACHR CONDEMNS MURDER OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER IN COLOMBIA
Washington, D.C., March 12, 2009 — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder of Álvaro Miguel Rivera Linares, defender of the human rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexuals population (LGBT) and the rights of persons with HIV/AIDS.
According to the information received by the IACHR, on March 6, 2009, Álvaro Miguel Rivera Linares was found dead in his apartment in Cali, bound and gagged, with his teeth broken and blows to his head and body. The information received also indicate that he had fled to Cali due to the threats he had faced in Villavicencio, also as a result of his activism in defense of the LGBT community.
The IACHR urges the State of Colombia to conduct an exhaustive investigation and to punish those responsible for the killing.
The IACHR has received information about the situation of insecurity faced by those who defend the rights of the LGBT community in Colombia, especially in the city of Cali. As the IACHR noted in its Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas, the work of such defenders is essential for building a solid and lasting democratic society. Human rights defenders play a leading role in the process of pursuing the full attainment of the rule of law and the strengthening of democracy.
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 the 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 act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.
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