I.

SUMMARY

REPORT No. 50/14
PETITION 779-11
ADMISSIBILITY
JINETH BEDOYA LIMA
COLOMBIA
July 21, 2014

1.
On June 3, 2011, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter the
"Commission," the "Inter-American Commission,” or the “IACHR”) received a petition filed by the Fundación
para la Libertad de Prensa (hereinafter “FLIP”or “the petitioner”), alleging that the Republic of Colombia
(hereinafter "the State" or "Columbia") is internationally responsible for the alleged violation of articles 4 (right
to life) 5 (right to personal integrity), 7 (right to personal freedom), 8 (judicial guarantees), 11 (protection of
honor and dignity), 13 (freedom of thought and expression), 17 (protection of the family), 22 (movement and
residency), 24 (equal protection) and 25 (judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights
(hereinafter the "American Convention" or the “Convention"), in relation to the general obligation established
in articles 1(1) and 2 of that international instrument to the detriment of journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima
(hereinafter “Jineth Bedoya” or "the alleged victim"). The petitioner also alleged the violation of articles 1, 6,
and 8 of the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture, as well as Article 7b of the InterAmerican Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (hereinafter
“Convention of Belém do Pará”).

2.
The petition refers to the alleged kidnapping, torture, and rape of journalist Jineth Bedoya
Lima on May 25, 2000, in the vicinity of the National Model Prison (Cárcel Nacional Modelo) in Bogotá for
reasons related to her profession. According to the petitioner, at the time of the alleged facts, the journalist was
working for the newspaper El Espectador and was reporting on the role of the National Police, the National
Model Prison Guard, and domestic paramilitary forces in a massacre that took place in said prison on April 27,
2000. The petitioner alleged that as of the date she filed the petition, the facts have not been subject to a trial,
for which reason she requested that the petition be exempt from the prior exhaustion of domestic remedies
requirement given their unjustified delay. According to the petitioner, 11 years after the alleged incidents
occurred, the State has not taken effective measures toward preventing them from remaining in impunity.
3.
For its part, the State has asked the Commission to find the petition inadmissible based on
parts (a) and (b) of Article 47 of the Convention because the facts presented did not represent a violation of the
ACHR and certain domestic remedies have still not been exhausted due to the complexity of the case. In this
regard, it explained that the proceeding is still in the inquiry stage and three individuals are being investigated.
It argued that there has not been an unjustified delay, and consequently, the exception found in Article 46(2)(c)
of the Convention does not apply, as the investigating authorities have taken a number of steps to determine
responsibility for the facts, and the delays resulting from the process are due to the case’s complexity rather
than the inaction of investigating or judicial authorities. It also argued that this petition does not submit facts
for which the Colombian State could be held responsible due to direct or indirect action or omission. According
to the State, the facts in the petition are clearly presented as the exclusive responsibility of third parties.

4.
Without prejudging the merits of the matter, after analyzing the pleadings of the parties and
pursuant to the requirements established in articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention, the Commission
decides to declare this petition admissible regarding the alleged violations of articles 4 (right to life) 5 (right to
personal integrity), 7 (right to personal freedom), 8 (judicial guarantees), 11 (protection of honor and dignity),
13 (freedom of thought and expression), 17 (protection of the family), 22 (movement and residency), 24 (equal
protection) and 25 (judicial protection) of the American Convention, in relation to articles 1(1) (obligation to
respect rights) and 2 (the duty to adopt domestic measures) of that instrument. The IACHR also decides to
declare the petition admissible with regard to the alleged violation of articles 1, 6, and 8 of the Inter-American
Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture, as well as Article 7 of the Convention of Belém do Pará. The
Commission also decides to notify the parties of this decision, to publish it, and to include it in its Annual Report
to the General Assembly of the OAS.

Select target paragraph3