Villafañe Chaparro et al v. Colombia

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Keywords: Admissibility | Indigenous Peoples | Effective Remedy | Duty to Investigate | Duty to Prosecute

Themes: Persons and Groups Affected | Justice and Truth | Related Crimes

The Committee found that the state has a duty to investigate alleged violations of human rights, particularly enforced disappearances and extrajudicial execution, and to criminally prosecute and punish those responsible for such violations. Purely disciplinary and administrative remedies cannot be deemed to constitute adequate and effective remedies in the event of serious violations of human rights, such as the right to life.

Judgment Date

July 29, 1997

Country

Colombia

Judicial Body

Human Rights Committee

Articles violated

Article 2(3) [ICCPR], Article 6 [ICCPR], Article 7 [ICCPR], Article 9 [ICCPR]

Articles not violated / not dealt with

Article 14 [ICCPR], Article 27 [ICCPR]

Facts of the Case

Mr. Jose Vicente Villafañe Chaparro and Mr. Amado Villafañe Chaparro who are members of the Arhuaco community, a Colombian indigenous group, were arbitrarily detained on 28 November 1990 allegedly by the soldiers from the No. 2 Artillery Battalion "La Popa" stationed in Valledupar. The evidence indicates that they were subjected to ill-treatment and torture, including being blindfolded and dunked in a canal. They were released on 4 December 1990, after considerable pressure of the Arhuaco community.

Mr. Luis Napoleon Torres Crespo, Mr. Angel María Torres Arroyo and Mr. Antonio Hugues Chaparro Torres who were leaders of the Arhuaco group were abducted on 28 November 1990. They were subsequently kept in detention without a warrant for their arrest and no formal charges against them. Results of the autopsies as well as death certificates revealed that the victims had been tortured prior to being shot in the head.

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