2 fundamental rights. This aspiration to the absolute elimination of impunity, which magically shortens the distance between the “what is” and “what ought to be” normative dimensions of social acts, has been fertile ground for the various forms of criminal authoritarianism which, in accordance with Articles 8 and 25 of the Convention, the Inter-American system does not support. 4. Article 25 protects the right of access to justice in the international law system, regardless of the specific type of rights which complainants may wish to protect. Though case law, in keeping with the foregoing, comprises cases concerning the protection of the rights enshrined in Article 25 alone, in most judgments this article has been examined in cases where there is a factual relation between such article and other serious violations of rights (for example, Articles 4(1) and 5), mostly due to lack of a proper investigation into said acts. In such cases, the Court has found that the victim’s search for justice is frequently impeded by investigations which extend beyond a “reasonable time” or which are started before courts of special jurisdiction (such as military courts), the impartiality of which (towards the victims) is reasonably suspected or even by lack of the minimum effectiveness required by international law from the judicial system of Member States.2 The case of Escué-Zapata falls directly into this pattern, as stated in the Judgment of July 4, 2007, wherein I had the honor to participate. 5. In prior cases the Inter-American Court has ordered that effective criminal proceedings be started or continued in order to identify and punish the perpetrators of such crimes.3 The Court has determined the responsibility of the States which have not effectively fulfilled their obligations of means or due diligence. 6. In most of these cases, the Court has ordered that the State publicize the findings reached in the proceedings.4 So has also been ordered in the case of EscuéZapata. That notwithstanding, in these judgments excessive emphasis is sometimes put on the publication of the findings reached in the proceedings. In the questions raised by the Colombian State before the Court regarding the interpretation of the judgment rendered on July 4, 2007, perplexity seems to percolate: since the obligation to investigate the commission of crimes is not an obligation of result, must the State also publish an eventual acquittal? The Court has replied that it must, but in the same Judgment of Interpretation it has added that, besides the publication of the final decisions (whether they are condemnatory judgments or acquittals), the Community and the victim’s next of kin must also be “adequately informed about the progress of the proceedings” (para. 15 of the Judgment of Interpretation). In stating the foregoing, I understand that the Court acknowledges, in the first place, that crimes 2 Cf. Case of the 19 Tradesmen v. Colombia. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of July 5, 2004. Series C No. 109, para. 188; Case of Las Palmeras v. Colombia. Merits. Judgment of December 6, 2001. Series C No. 90, para. 52 and IACHR, Case of the Ituango Massacres v. Colombia. Preliminary Objection, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of July 1, 2006. Series C No. 148, para. 344. 3 Cf. Case of Las Palmeras v. Colombia. Reparations and Costs. Judgment of November 26, 2002. Series C No. 96, para. 67; Case of Gutiérrez-Soler v. Colombia. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of September 12, 2005. Series C No. 132, para. 96 and Case of La Rochela Massacre v. Colombia. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of May 11, 2007. Series C No. 163, para. 295. 4 Cf. Case of the 19 Tradesmen, supra note 2, para. 263; Case of the “Mapiripán Massacre” v. Colombia. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of September 15, 2005. Series C No. 134, para. 298 and Case of the Pueblo Bello Massacre v. Colombia. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of January 31, 2006. Series C No. 140, para. 267.

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