IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Carlos Santiago Vallejos Mora and His Family in Colombia

September 23, 2022

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 46/22 on August 23, 2022, to grant precautionary measures in favor of Carlos Santiago Vallejos Mora and his family in Colombia, in the belief that they face a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their rights.

The request for these precautionary measures says that Vallejos Mora went missing as he was riding a motorcycle in the Ospina Pérez area of the municipality of Ricaurte, in the department of Nariño, after allegedly being detained by officers of Colombia's National Army on August 7, 2022. His whereabouts remain unknown since then. His family has been subjected to retaliation for their efforts to search for him and to report the case, which puts them at risk.

The State said it activated the Urgent Search Mechanism on August 12, 2022. It also said that, in the context of the investigation of this forced disappearance, the authorities had collected the testimonies of Vallejos Mora's relatives and other residents of the Ospina Pérez community and asked the Police to inspect the area and conduct several searches.

After assessing the legal and factual allegations submitted by the parties, the Commission considered that, in principle (based on the standards that are applicable prima facie), Carlos Santiago Vallejos Mora remained missing and that no substantial information had been provided about the events that led to his disappearance, despite the measures taken by the State. The man's family is also allegedly at risk, considering the threats they have received after taking part in searches.

Consequently, in keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission granted these precautionary measures and asked the State of Colombia to take the following action:

  1. Adopt any measures necessary to establish Carlos Santiago Vallejos Mora's whereabouts and condition, in order to protect his rights to life and personal integrity
  2. Adopt any measures necessary to protect the rights to life and personal integrity of identified members of the beneficiary's family
  3. Report on any actions adopted to investigate the alleged events that gave rise to the adoption of these precautionary measures, in order to prevent such events from happening again in the future

The fact that these precautionary measures have been granted and their adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights and other applicable instruments.

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. 214/22

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