2 Contreras1, Carlos Arturo Riatiga, Victor Ayala, Alirio Chaparro, Huber Pérez, Alvaro Camargo, Rubén Pineda, Gilberto Ortíz, Reinaldo Corso Vargas, Hernán Jáuregui, Juan Bautista, Alberto Gómez and Luis Sauza, and of Juan Montero and Ferney Fernández2 (hereinafter “the alleged victims” or “the 19 tradesmen”) on October 18, 1987, in the municipality of Puerto Boyacá, Department of Boyacá, in the Magdalena Medio region. The Commission also requested the Court to decide whether the State had violated Articles 5 (Right to Humane Treatment), 8(1) (Right to a Fair Trial) and 25 (Judicial Protection) of the American Convention, to the detriment of the said alleged victims and their next of kin, and also to determine whether Colombia failed to comply with the provisions of Article 1(1) (Obligation to Respect Rights) thereof, with regard to the last two of the abovementioned articles. The Commission alleged that the acts were committed by the “paramilitary” group that operated in the municipality of Puerto Boyacá masterminded by and with the support of Colombian Army officers. 3. The Commission also requested the Court to order the State to adopt all necessary measures to ensure that the next of kin of the alleged victims received adequate and prompt reparation as a result of the alleged violations, including a complete, impartial and objective investigation in the ordinary jurisdiction, in order to prosecute and punish those responsible for the extrajudicial execution of the alleged victims. Lastly, the Commission requested the Court to condemn the State to pay the costs and expenses arising from processing the case in the domestic jurisdiction and before the Inter-American System. II COMPETENCE 4. Colombia has been a State Party to the American Convention since July 31, 1973, and accepted the contentious jurisdiction of the Court on June 21, 1985. Therefore, the Court is competent to hear this case under the terms of Articles 62 and 63(1) of the Convention. III PROCEEDING BEFORE THE COMMISSION 5. On March 6, 1996, the Colombian Jurists Commission filed a petition before the Inter-American Commission based on the alleged forced disappearance of the 19 tradesmen (supra para. 2) carried out by members of the National Army and members of a “paramilitary” group in the municipality of Puerto Boyacá, Department of Boyacá, in the Magdalena Medio region. 6. On March 29, 1996, the Commission opened case No. 11,603. 1 In its application brief the Inter-American Commission indicated that the last names of this alleged victim were Flórez Ochoa. However, subsequently, according to the documentary evidence on possible reparations and costs, the Secretariat requested the Commission to clarify the correct last names of this alleged victim; and the Commission rectified and stated that the correct last names were Flórez Contreras. 2 The names of the 19 alleged victims were incomplete in the application, so hereafter the Court will use their complete name, as it appears in the information included in the body of evidence of the case.

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