INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
COMISIÓN INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS
COMISSÃO INTERAMERICANA DE DIREITOS HUMANOS
COMMISSION INTERAMÉRICAINE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME

ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
WASHINGTON, D.C., 2 0 0 0 6 U. S.
July 8, 2011

Ref.:

Case No. 12.416
Santo Domingo Massacre
Colombia

Mr. Secretary:
I am pleased to address you on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights in order to file before the jurisdiction of the Honorable Inter-American Court of
Human Rights, Case No. 12.416, Santo Domingo Massacre v. the Republic of Colombia
(hereinafter “the State”, “the Colombian State,” or “Colombia”), related to a bombing
perpetrated on December 13, 1998 by the Colombian Air Force on the hamlet of Santo
Domingo, in the municipality of Tame, Arauca department. Specifically, a cluster device
was launched that, in accordance with the information available at the time that it issued
its merits report, resulted in the death of 17 civilians, among them four boys and two girls.
Furthermore, 27 civilians were wounded, including four boys and five girls. After the
explosion of the device, the law enforcement agents continued, from the air, to bomb
civilians who were trying to assist the wounded and attempting to escape from the hamlet.
After the event, the entire population of Santo Domingo was displaced and in January
1999 its residents returned to rebuild their homes. These facts remain in impunity because
the State did not undertake a serious and effective investigation to identify the intellectual
and other perpetrators responsible and, if need be, to impose the corresponding
punishments. In its merits report, the IACHR concluded that, more than twelve years after
the facts, only one sentence, from a lower court, has been announced against the crew of
the helicopter that launched the device.
Mr.
Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretary
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Box 6906-1000
San José, Costa Rica
Appendices

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