IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Nine Radio Journalists in Colombia

January 4, 2024

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 88/2023 on December 27, 2023, to grant precautionary measures in favor of nine journalists from the Colombian municipality of Algeciras, in the department of Huila. The Commission believes that they face a serious risk after receiving death threats and being harassed, allegedly by armed groups who are active in the area.

According to the party who requested these precautionary measures, the journalists who were identified in the request had been summoned to attend a meeting with members of armed groups. They were allegedly told that anyone who refused to attend the meeting would be considered a military target. Threats persisted later, which led the beneficiaries to restrict their journalistic work. The State reported on the measures that had been adopted by the National Protection Unit, the preventive security measures taken by law enforcement agencies, and the risk assessments conducted to assess the situation of the proposed beneficiaries.

When assessing this request for precautionary measures, the Commission took into consideration the allegations in the broader context it had been monitoring in Colombia. The IACHR noted the protection measures that had already been taken in favor of the beneficiaries. However, the Commission found that the risks faced by the beneficiaries had not been adequately mitigated, given that death threats persisted and that these journalists were unable to continue to do their work in the area.

In keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR decided to grant these precautionary measures and asked the State of Colombia to:

  1. Adopt any heightened measures necessary to protect the beneficiaries' rights to life and personal integrity
  2. Take any measures necessary to enable the beneficiaries to do their work as journalists without being subjected to threats, harassment, or any other acts of violence for doing such work (this includes taking measures to enable them to exercise their right to freedom of expression)
  3. Come to an agreement with the beneficiaries and their representatives concerning any measures that need to be taken
  4. Report on any actions adopted to investigate the 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. 007/24

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