Colombian State fails to comply with IACHR Court order in the case of Senator Manuel Cepeda Vargas

Colombian State fails to comply with IACHR Court order in the case of Senator Manuel Cepeda Vargas

November 27, 2021. The Colombian State, through the Presidential Council for Human Rights and International Affairs, was to carry out today a public presentation of the documentary: “Manuel Cepeda: An Artist in Politics”, directed by the master Lisandro Duque Naranjo, whose production was ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) with the purpose of dignifying the memory of the Patriotic Union and Communist Party senator Manuel Cepeda Vargas, assassinated on August 9, 1994.

Despite the fact that the conditions for the transmission of the event had been agreed upon, and that relatives, friends, and groups close to Senator Cepeda Vargas were present on the virtual stage for the event, the documentary could not be transmitted, nor could the relatives of the victims be heard because the State did not guarantee the technical conditions for its execution. It is striking that a state entity that has the technical and human resources to carry out these activities fails to dignify the memory of victims of state crimes.

On May 26, 2010, the Inter-American Court established the international responsibility of the Colombian State in the murder of Senator Cepeda Vargas, committed by a mixed structure made up of military and paramilitary forces. The Court determined that the State did not guarantee the life of Senator Cepeda and that the climate that led to his assassination was the result of his lack of protection, stigmatization, and the affectation of his honor and dignity.

The criminal structure that perpetrated this crime continued to operate after his assassination and, as a strategy to ensure impunity, generated a campaign to discredit and discredit his memory and his family so that the latter has had to take multiple legal actions over the years to restore his honor and good name. In this sense, the IACHR Court ordered to provide protection to the relatives of Senator Cepeda Vargas.

During the process of compliance with the Inter-American Court judgment, the Colombian State has had to adopt measures to ensure reparation and guarantees of satisfaction for the victims. Thus, among others, on August 9, 2011, the Colombian State, in a public act carried out in the Elliptical Hall of the National Capitol, acknowledged its responsibility and asked for forgiveness for the murder of Senator Manuel Cepeda Vargas.

This fact constitutes a failure by the Colombian State to comply with the order issued by the Inter-American Court and is a new offense against the relatives of Senator Manuel Cepeda Vargas and the victims of the genocide of the Patriotic Union and the Communist Party. Therefore, we will report in detail what happened to the Court and the IACHR Commission.

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