June 3, 2014
Cases Nos. 12,595, 12,596 and 12,621
Ana Teresa Yarce et al.
On behalf of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, I have the honor to submit to the
jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, joined cases 12,595, 12,596 and 12,621 – Ana Teresa
Yarce et al. v. the Republic of Colombia (hereinafter “the State”, “the Colombian State” or “Colombia”). This
case is related to the provisional measures ordered by the Court in Mery Naranjo et al., which are still in effect.
The case concerns the Colombian State’s international responsibility for a series of human rights
violations committed against five human rights defenders and their families starting in 2002, in the place known
as Comuna 13 in the city of Medellín. This sequence of events took place amid the armed fighting being waged
in that area, a situation of which the Colombian State was aware and which involved clashes between illegal
armed groups and combined military and police forces for several decades. The fighting in Comuna 13
intensified when, in 2002, the State staged military operations; in the wake of these operations, the paramilitary
became a stronger presence in Comuna 13.
Against this backdrop, Mrs. Myriam Eugenia Rúa Figueroa and Mrs. Luz Dary Ospina were the targets of
threats and harassment; their homes were searched and occupied, which ultimately forced them to move. For
their part, Mery Naranjo, María del Socorro Mosquera and Ana Teresa Yarce were arbitrarily taken into custody.
Then after filing a series of complaints about the unchecked activities of paramilitary groups, in connivance with
the military and police forces, Mrs. Ana Teresa Yarce was killed on October 6, 2004. When this happened, Mrs.
Mery Naranjo and Mrs. María del Socorro Mosquera were forced to move as well.
Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretary
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
San José, Costa Rica