REPORT Nº 41/02 ADMISSIBILITY PETITION 11.748 JOSÉ DEL CARMEN ÁLVAREZ BLANCO ET AL. (PUEBLO BELLO) COLOMBIA October 9, 2002 I. SUMMARY 1. On May 5, 1997, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Commission” or “the IACHR”) received a petition lodged by the Asociación de Familiares de Detenidos y Desaparecidos de Colombia (ASFADDES), the Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos (FEDEFAM), and the Comisión Colombiana de Juristas (CCJ) (hereinafter “the petitioners”) in which they allege the responsibility of state agents of the Republic of Colombia (hereinafter “the State” or “the Colombian State”) for the torture and disappearance of José del Carmen Álvarez Blanco, Fermín Agresor Moreno, Víctor Manuel Argel Hernández, Genor Arrieta Lara, Cristóbal Manuel Arroyo Blanco, Diomédes Barrera Orozco, Urías Barrera Orozco, José Encarnación Barrera Orozco (minor), Ricardo Manuel Bohórquez Pastrana, Jorge Fermín Calle Hernández, Jorge Arturo Castro Galindo, Ovidio Carmona Suárez, Genaro Benito Calderón Ramos, Juan Miguel Cruz Ruiz, Ariel Euclides Díaz Delgado, Camilo Antonio Durango Moreno, Juan Luis Escobar Duarte, José Leonel Escobar Duarte, César Augusto Espinoza Pulgarín, Wilson Flórez Fuentes, Andrés Manuel Flórez Altamira, Santiago Manuel Gonzáles López, Carmelo Guerra Pestana, Miguel Ángel Gutiérrez Arrieta, Lucio Miguel Hurzula Sotelo, Ángel Benito Jiménez Julio, Manuel Ángel López Cuadrado, Jorge Martínez Pacheco, Mario Melo, Carlos Melo, Juan Mesa Serrano, Pedro Antonio Mercado Montes, Manuel de Jesús Montes Martínez (minor), Luis Carlos Pérez Ricardo, Miguel Pérez, Raúl Antonio Pérez Martínez, Benito José Pérez Pedroza, Euclides Ricardo Pérez, Andrés Manuel Pedroza Jiménez, José Manuel Petro Hernández, Luis Miguel Salgado Barrios, Célimo Urrutia Hurtado, and Eduardo Zapata, in the context of a paramilitary incursion perpetrated on January 14, 1990, in the locality of Pueblo Bello, municipality of Turbo, department of Antioquia. 2. The petitioners alleged that the State was responsible for violating the rights to life, humane treatment, and personal liberty enshrined in Articles 4, 5, and 7 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention” or “the Convention”), as well as the judicial guarantees and protections provided for at Articles 8 and 25 of the Convention, to the detriment of the victims and their next-of-kin, and the generic obligation to respect and ensure the rights protected therein. As regards the admissibility of the claim, the petitioners alleged that the exceptions to the requirement to exhaust domestic remedies set out at Articles 46(2)(a) and 46(2)(c) of the Convention apply in the instant case. The State alleged that the participation of state agents in the incidents alleged had not been proven, and that the local courts had acted lawfully; accordingly, in its view, no right enshrined in the American Convention was violated. 3. After analyzing the parties’ positions, the Commission concluded that it is competent to take cognizance of the case brought by petitioners, and that the case is admissible, under Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention. II. PROCESSING BEFORE THE COMMISSION 4. On February 12, 1990, the Commission received an urgent action reporting the disappearance of 43 peasant farmers in Pueblo Bello. On that same day, under procedural number 10.566, the IACHR approached the State to request information, under the Regulations in force until April 30, 2001. The State answered on May 10, 1990 and the response was forwarded to the complainants on June 26, 1990 with 30 days to present observations. On December 6, 1990, the IACHR received information from another source on the matter, which was sent to the State for observations. The State presented its response on August 16, 1991. The Commission sought to communicate with the original complainant by written communications dated June 9, 1993, and January 18, 1994, unsuccessfully. On 1

Select target paragraph3