REPORT Nº 76/01
CASE 12.291
WILSON GUTIÉRREZ SOLER
COLOMBIA
October 10, 2001
I.

SUMMARY

1. On November 5, 1999, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Commission”) received a petition submitted by the Corporación Colectivo de Abogados “José
Alvear Restrepo” (hereinafter “the petitioners”) in which it is alleged that on August 24, 1994,
members of the National Anti-Extortion and Kidnapping Unit of the National Police (UNASE)
and one private individual tortured Mr. Wilson Gutiérrez Soler after detaining him in the city of
Bogotá, Republic of Colombia (hereinafter “the State,” “the Colombian State,” or “Colombia”).
2. The petitioners allege that the State is responsible for violating the rights to humane
treatment, a fair trial, and judicial protection, provided for at Articles 5, 8, and 25 of the
American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention”) to the
detriment of the alleged victim, in conjunction with the general obligation to respect and
ensure the rights set forth therein.
3. The State argued that the petitioners’ claim is inadmissible since Mr. Soler’s case has
already been examined by the domestic courts, under Colombia’s domestic law. In addition, it
argued that the petition had been submitted outside of the legally permissible time frame, as
the six-month period provided for at Article 46(1)(b) of the American Convention had expired.
4. Based on the analysis of the parties’ positions, the Commission concludes that it is
competent to examine petitioners’ claim, and that it is admissible under the provisions of
Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention.
II.

PROCESSING BEFORE THE COMMISSION

5. On June 13, 2000, the Commission assigned the claim the number 12.291, in keeping with
the Regulations of the Commission in force until April 30, 2001, and forwarded the pertinent
parts of the complaint to the Colombian State, also on June 13, 2001, giving it 90 days to
submit information.
6. On September 13, 2000, the State requested an extension, which was duly granted by the
Commission. On October 13, 2000, the State submitted its answer, whose pertinent parts were
forwarded to the petitioners for observations. On December 1, 2000, the petitioners requested
an extension, which was duly granted by the Commission. On January 4, 2001, the petitioners
submitted additional information. The pertinent parts of the information were sent to the
State, which was given an additional 30 days to submit its observations.
7. On February 9, 2001, the State requested an extension to submit its observations, which
was duly granted by the Commission. On February 26, 2001, during its 110th regular session,
the Commission held a hearing with the presence of both parties. On July 25, 2001, the
Commission asked the State to submit additional information. On August 23, 2001, the State
requested an extension to submitting said additional information. The Commission granted the
extension requested. On September 17, 2001, the State submitted its observations.
III.

THE PARTIES’ POSITIONS

A.

The petitioners’ position

8. The petitioners allege that on August 24, 1994, members of the National Anti-Extortion and
Kidnapping Unit (UNASE: Unidad Nacional Antiextorsión y Secuestro) of the National Police
detained Mr. Wilson Gutiérrez Soler in the course of an anti-extortion operation in the city of

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