IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided to approve the friendly settlement agreement concerning Case 13,964—Darío Gómez Cartagena and Family, Colombia—and to publish approval report 66/22. This case concerns the State's international responsibility for the failure to investigate the 1999 homicide (allegedly perpetrated by a paramilitary group) of Darío Gómez Cartagena in the village of Nutibara, in the municipality of Frontino, in the department of Antioquia, and to punish the people responsible for it.
On April 13, 2021, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding in search of a friendly settlement, which led to the signing of this agreement on December 23, 2021, in Bogotá. In this agreement, the 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, in accordance with Article 1.1 of the Convention, to the detriment of the family of Darío Gómez Cartagena, for lack of diligence to investigate these events.
The State committed to implementing the following redress measures: (1) holding a virtual private event to acknowledge its responsibility; (2) posting this friendly settlement agreement on the website of the National Legal Defense Agency; and (3) providing financial compensation through the mechanism that was set up by Act 288 of 1996.
In Friendly Settlement Report 66/22, the IACHR said that compliance with all measures held in the agreement remained pending. The Commission will therefore continue to monitor this agreement until full implementation has been verified.
The Commission acknowledges the efforts made by both parties to negotiate a friendly settlement agreement that is compatible with the Convention's goals and purposes. The IACHR 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.