IACHR Publishes Report on Case of Franklin Bustamante Restrepo, Aged 14, in Colombia, Concerning Extrajudicial Executions

December 10, 2021

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to approve friendly settlement agreement 337/21, concerning Case 13,758—Franklin Bustamante Restrepo and Family, Colombia—and to publish the relevant approval report. The case concerns the State's alleged international responsibility for the extrajudicial execution of Franklin Bustamante Restrepo, aged 14, allegedly perpetrated in 1989 by agents of the Administrative Security Department, and for the subsequent failure to investigate these events.

The parties signed in 2020 a memorandum of understanding in search of a friendly settlement, which led to the signing of this friendly settlement agreement in September 2021. In this agreement, the Colombian State acknowledged its international responsibility for violations of the rights held in Articles 8 (right to a fair trial) and 25 (right to judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights, affecting relatives of the child Franklin Bustamante Restrepo. In the agreement, the State further committed to holding a public event to acknowledge its responsibility, posting the friendly settlement report on the website of the National Agency for the Legal Defense of the State of Colombia, and paying financial compensation to the beneficiaries of this agreement through the mechanism that was set up by Act 288 of 1996.

In its friendly settlement report, the Inter-American Commission highlighted full compliance with measures linked to holding an event to acknowledge State responsibility and said that measures concerning publication of the agreement and financial compensation remained pending. The IACHR will therefore continue to supervise compliance with these commitments until the agreement has been fully implemented. The Commission asked the State to take all necessary measures to achieve full compliance.

The IACHR commends both parties on their efforts while negotiating this friendly settlement agreement, which turned out to be compatible with the Convention's aims and purposes. The Commission commends the State on its efforts to develop a public policy concerning friendly settlements and alternative conflict-resolution. The IACHR invites the State to continue to use the friendly settlement mechanism to resolve other cases that are currently being addressed in the individual petition and case system. The Commission congratulates the petitioning party for all its efforts to take part in negotiations and to seek implementation of this agreement.

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. 336/21

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