On December 31, 2021, the IACHR decided to request the adoption of precautionary measures in favor of Abencio Caicedo Caicedo and Edinsón Valencia García, in Colombia. The request for precautionary measures alleges that the proposed beneficiaries, who are Afro-descendant leaders and defenders of human rights in their communities and territories in the rural area of Buenaventura and in the Yurumangui river basin, are at risk, given that from November 28, 2021, to date, there is reportedly no information on their whereabouts or fate, and due to the context of special vulnerability for Afro-descendant human rights defenders in which the disappearance occurred. Upon analyzing the submissions of fact and law, the IACHR considers that the information provided shows, in principle, that the beneficiaries are at serious and urgent risk of irreparable harm. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, the Commission requested that Colombia adopt the necessary measures to determine the situation and whereabouts of Abencio Caicedo Caicedo and Edinsón Valencia García, in order to protect their rights to life and personal integrity; and report on the actions taken to investigate the alleged events that led to the adoption of this resolution, so as to prevent them from reoccurring.
PM 195-08, Emildo Bueno and others, Dominican Republic
On July 31, 2008, the IACHR granted the request for precautionary measures on behalf of Emildo Bueno Orguís, Dielal Bueno, Minoscal De Olis Oguiza, Gyselle Baret Reyes and Demerson De Olis Baret. The request seeking precautionary measures alleges that these individuals, born in the Dominican Republic of parents of Haitian origin, have been threatened and have been the targets of acts of violence, presumably in retaliation for the legal actions brought to obtain papers identifying them as Dominican citizens. The Commission asked the Dominican Republic to take the measures necessary to protect the lives and physical integrity of the beneficiaries and to report what measures are being taken to conduct a judicial inquiry into the facts that prompted the adoption of precautionary measures. The Commission continues to monitor the situation.
Leaders of COPDICONC, Colombia
On July 24, 2007, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of José Emery Álvarez Patiño, Marlene Cisneros, José Gildardo Ortega, José Arcos, Alfredo Quiñones, Arcediano Pialejo Micolta, Claudio Esterilla Montaño, Gonzalo Caicedo Esterilla, José Rogelio Montaño, Maritza Caicedo Ordoñez, Marianita Montilla Cobo, Fanny Caicedo, and José Pablo Estrada Perlaza, all of them leaders of the Council of Black Communities of the Western Cordillera of Nariño (COPDICONC: Concejo de Comunidades Negras de la Cordillera Occidental de Nariño). The information available indicates that residents of six communities in the department of Nariño, and particularly the leaders of COPDICONC, have been victims of acts of harassment, death threats, and detentions (retenciones) by illegal armed groups and government forces. It is also alleged that the leaders of COPDICONC are generally subject to hostile acts by members of both paramilitary and guerrilla groups, who accuse them of cooperating with the opposing force. The Commission asked the Colombian State to adopt the measures necessary to protect the life and physical integrity of the beneficiaries, and to report on the actions taken to investigate judicially the facts that gave rise to the precautionary measures. The Commission continues to monitor the situation of the beneficiaries.
Enrique Medrano and others, Panama
On April 25, 2003, the Commission granted precautionary measures on behalf of Enrique Medrano, Juan Berrío, and the girls Sandy Juliet Martínez Copete, Yoinis Gutiérrez Mena, Sandra Gutiérrez Mena and Yesenia Berrío Mena. The information available indicates that in the context of an operation to repatriate Afro-descendants of Colombian origin who were living in the locality of Punusa, Boca de Cupe, carried out April 18, 19, and 20, 2003, Enrique Medrano and Juan Berrío were detained by the Panamanian authorities, without any further immediate notice of their whereabouts or their personal security or physical integrity. The girls Sandy Juliet Martínez Copete, Yoinis Gutiérrez Mena, Sandra Gutiérrez Mena, and Yesenia Berrío Mena had been separated from their families when the repatriation occurred. In view of the situation, the IACHR asked the Panamanian State to present information on the whereabouts of Magdaleno Medrano and Juan Berrío, and on the measures adopted to ensure their personal integrity. In terms of the situation of the girls, it asked that the State determine their whereabouts, protect their security and health, and ensure that they are reunited with their families. In addition, the IACHR called on Panama to respect the right of non-refoulement of Colombian nationals in Panama, in the communities of Boca de Cupe, Jaqué Matugantí, Puerto Obaldía, and Punusa, in the Darién region of Panama, in keeping with international law, and to take steps to prevent their expulsion from Panamanian territory without the guarantees established at Articles 8, 22, and 25 of the American Convention. After the precautionary measures were issued, the petitioners reported that the minor Yesenia Berrío had been reunited with her parents on May 13, 2003, and that Sandra Gutiérrez Mena was of age; that information was immediately forwarded to the State. In response, the State reported that Yoinis Gutiérrez and Sandy Martínez were in Boca de Cupe, in the custody of their families. In addition, the parties submitted information on the situation of Enrique Medrano and Juan Berrío. On October 24, 2003, the IACHR held a working meeting with representatives of the State in which information was received on the situation of the communities of Afro-Colombian origin in the Panamanian Darien, and on the measures designed to verify future repatriations. In view of the information provided by the State, on October 20, 2003, the Commission decided to lift the precautionary measures.
Afro-Colombian Communities in Buenaventura, Colombia
On January 2, 2002 the Commission granted precautionary measures on behalf of afro-Colombian communities in 49 hamlets in the Naya river basin in Buenaventura.The available information indicates that since the end of November 2001 there have been approximately 300 paramilitary members in northern Cauca and the southern part of Valle del Cauca, in the municipalities of Timba, Suárez, and Buenos Aires, who have threatened the Naya and Yurumanguí river indigenous, afro-Colombian, and campesino communities. The petitioners indicated that since December and January 2001, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) had been present in the upper Naya up to Carmen and Yurumanguí threatening the inhabitants to make them leave the area. On December 27, 2001 the threats were repeated.In its request, the Commission asked the State, firstly, to take steps to provide for unarmed civil protection and effective perimeter control by law enforcement, to prevent armed incursions into the Naya and Yurumanguí basins by the mouth of the Pacific, in consultation with the Naya Community Council and the petitioners. Secondly, the State was asked to take preventive measures, including having a law enforcement presence at the mouths of the Yurumanguí and El Naya as a control measure to prevent illegal actors from entering the hamlets where the afro-Colombian communities reside; and to provide for the immediate and ongoing presence of entities, such as the Office of the Public Prosecutor of the Nation and the Office of the Ombudsman, headquartered in Puerto Merizalde, in coordination with the National Office of the Ombudsman in Bogotá, as dissuasive, preventive mechanisms. Thirdly, the State was asked to strengthen its early warning system by implementing effective communication systems. Finally, it was asked to launch an investigation into the acts of violence alleged in the request and to try and punish the perpetrators. In its reply, the State indicated that the Presidential Program for Human Rights and the Ministry of the Interior met with governors and mayors in the region and that law enforcement, the Third Brigade of the National Army, and certain naval units were engaged in intelligence and information-gathering efforts. The Office of the Ombudsman reported that it was implementing ongoing observation in the region, in coordination with the early warning system. The State also reported that the National Human Rights Unit of the Attorney General’s Office was conducting an investigation, which was in the probable cause phase.The Commission has continued to receive complaints from the petitioners about threats and acts of intimidation and violence against the protected communities.
Families of Afro-Colombian descent, in the Curbaradó and Jiguamiandó Basins, Chocó Department, Colombia
On November 7, 2002 the IACHR granted precautionary measures to protect the lives and persons of 515 families of Afro-Colombian descent (2,125 persons), members of the Jiguamiandó Basin Community Council, who reside on 54,973 hectares of land, and families in the Curbaradó Basin, who live on 25,000 hectares of land, in the municipality of Carmen del Darién, department of El Chocó, land collectively titled to them by the national government on May 21, 2001. According to the information received, starting in January 2001 and particularly after the collective titles were given for the territory of communities of Afro-Colombian descent, in accordance with Law 70 and the Constitution of 1991, there has been a series of acts of violence, murders, and forced displacements that had led nine communities in the Community Council of Curbaradó to seek refuge in the Collective Territory of Jiguamiandó and caused over 20 Afro-Colombian communities to flee deep into the jungle. In October 2002, armed paramilitary actions began to intensify and to occupy the collectively owned land, penetrate the communities’ jungle refuges, and surround their departure routes.On October 16, 2002 approximately 160 men in military dress, wearing AUC armbands, entered the Uradá indian reservation and threatened the indigenous communities, saying: “either you join us or you leave. The next incursion will be into the communities of Puerto Lleras and Pueblo Nuevo; from there we are going to sweep these communities; either you join us or you leave; you have to plant palm and coca; you are either with us or you leave.” In the last week of October and the first week of November, 2002, there was movement by “armed civilians” in the area around where the families from Jiguamiandó and Curbaradó had sought refuge, in some cases from paramilitary groups in Brisas, Cetino, Belén de Bajirá near the presence of the Seventeenth Army Brigade and the point where control actions are conducted on the Atrato River.The IACHR asked the State, inter alia, to take preventive measures for perimeter control and to fight paramilitary action in the Atrato River and other areas of influence, in order to protect the beneficiary communities; facilitate the operation of an early warning system, including an adequate, reliable communications system with humanitarian areas; ensure the institutional presence of entities such as the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation in the humanitarian areas defined by the community (Remacho, Pueblo Nuevo, Nueva Esperanza); take humanitarian measures to return the displaced families to the humanitarian areas established by the communities; effectively investigate the acts of violence and threats justifying the adoption of precautionary measures; and prosecute and punish the perpetrators. Nonetheless, the Commission has continued to receive information in connection with ongoing armed incursions into the territory of the protected communities and on the human crisis that has befallen the beneficiaries.
On March 6, 2003, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered Provisional Measures.
On November 2008, on the request of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Colombian State, a delegation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights conducted a working visit to Colombia. Afterwards, the IACHR wrote and published a Report on the Visit in Relation with the Provisional Measures, available only in Spanish.