Velez Restrepo and familyProcess
The events of this case account for the persecution, harassment and violence perpetrated against Luis Gonzalo Vélez Restrepo, cameraman for a national news program, who reported and disseminated a recording of violent acts committed by members of the National Army against participants in the demonstrations against governmental policy on fumigation of coca crops in the Caquetá region, which occurred on August 29, 1996. As a result of the established criminal reports, in September of the same year, Vélez Restrepo started to receive threats and harassments. He was followed and received death threats, reason for which he was forced to leave and seek asylum in the United States with his family.
The IA Court recalled its jurisprudence, regarding the duty of the States to respect and guarantee the right to freedom of expression in its individual and collective dimension. The Court reaffirmed the importance of respecting these rights in matters of public interest, and established that the aforementioned right was violated by the inappropriate actions of security agents in situations of public protest, by the lack of an adequate and effective investigation, by the absence of protection measures on behalf of the State, and for the impunity in which the cases of attacks on journalists exercising their profession remain.
The IA Court reiterated that the military criminal justice system is of an exceptional and restrictive nature and that it cannot judge human rights violations, as this would constitute a violation of the right to a fair trial and to judicial protection, and in particular a violation of the right to an ordinary Judge.
- Presentation to the IACommission
- Jul 29, 2005
- Submission to the IACourt
- Mar 2, 2011
- Freedom of expression
- Military jurisdiction
- Threats and harassment
- Court documents