CCAJAR and CEJIL issue a press release in relation to the Mapiripán Massacre hearing at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

In its 2005 judgment the Court was able to identify 20 victims of the massacre by name. At the same time, it stated that there were approximately 49 victims and that the State had the duty to continue investigating the facts in order to identify the remaining victims.

During the compliance hearing, it was clear that the victims named in the judgment had been confirmed by the State on several occasions throughout the international proceedings. An additional victim was identified by the State during the process of monitoring compliance. However, today, the Colombian State is questioning some of these recognized victims in clear contradiction with its previous submissions to the Court. During this compliance hearing, it was also evident that the Colombian State has been negligent in its duty to individually identify the victims of this massacre, as well as to establish the actual number of murdered and forcibly disappeared victims.

The information presented by the State before the Court is based in the investigations of the Justice and Peace Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office, which, without denying the existence of the Mapiripán Massacre itself, are intended to reduce its magnitude, by referring to the existence of only 12 victims.

In contradiction to this, a report by the Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office issued on April 2011 identifies 77 possible victims of that Massacre.

At the hearing before the Court, the State asked for the review of the judgment, without presenting evidence of its affirmations or clarifying the terms of its request. Fourteen years and four months after the Mapiripán Massacre, and 6 years after issuing the judgment of the InterAmerican Court in relation to this case, the Colombian State asked for 3 more months to present the evidence that would support its current request.

We welcome the fact that the Colombian State resorts to the appropriate channels for debate, such as the procedure for monitoring compliance with a judgment, and not to de facto actions such as discussing the case in the media, presenting inaccurate information.

It will be the Inter-American Court, in an autonomous manner, and after the corresponding legal debate, that will issue the appropriate resolution which will protect the truth based on the real facts of the case, as well as the victims of the Mapiripán Massacre. The decisions of the Court are final and cannot be questioned or appealed.

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