REPORT Nº 73/05
PETITION 4534/2003
October 13, 2005


On November 18, 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the
IACHR”), received a petition from the Interdisciplinary Group for Human Rights
(GIDH) (hereinafter “the petitioners”), in which it alleged the forced disappearance
of a soldier, Oscar Iván Tabares Toro, on December 28, 1997, while he was camped
with the Tigre Company of the General Carlos Julio Gil Colorado Artillery School of
No. 1 Mobile Brigade of Army Battalion No.2, in the village of Toledo in the
Municipality of San Juanito, Department of Meta, Republic of Colombia (hereinafter
“the State,” “the Colombian State,” or “Colombia”) and the lack of
judicial clarification of the circumstances of his disappearance.
The petitioners allege that the State is responsible for violation of the
right to recognition of juridical personality, and the rights to life, humane treatment,
personal liberty, a fair trial, and judicial protection, as enshrined in Articles 3, 4, 5,
7, 8, and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the American
Convention”), considered together with the general obligation in Article 1(1), to
respect and guarantee the rights established in the Convention. As regards the
admissibility of this petition, the petitioners allege that it should be exempt from the
requirement of prior exhaustion of domestic remedies stipulated in Article 46(1) of
the American Convention, by applying the exception contained in its Article
46(2)(c). On the other hand, the Colombian State has requested the Commission to
declare the complaint lodged by the petitioners inadmissible, on the grounds of failure
to comply with the requirement of prior exhaustion of domestic remedies stipulated
in Article 46(1)(a) of the American Convention.
After analyzing the positions of the parties, the Commission concluded
that it was competent to consider the petition and that the allegations pertaining to
Articles 1(1), 4, 5, 7, 8, and 25 were admissible, in accordance with the provisions
of Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention.


The petition was lodged with the Commission on November 18, 2002,
in a communication dated November 15, 2002. The Commission registered the
petition as Number P4534/2002, and on November 13, 2003, it transmitted to the
State a copy of the relevant parts, granting it a period of two months to submit
information on the allegations contained in the petition, in accordance with Article
30(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the IACHR. On January 14, 2004, the Colombian
State requested the Commission to grant a 30-day extension of the period for
submitting its response. On January 21 2004, the Commission granted the requested
extension. On October 13, 2004, the Commission sent a letter to the State in which
it reiterated its request to submit its observations on the petition lodged by the
petitioners, and its noncompliance with the deadline extended to February 21,
2004. In a communication dated February 23, 2005, the State submitted its
response, which was forwarded to the petitioners in a communication dated March 7,
2005, granting the petitioners 30 days to submit their observations.

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