REPORT Nº 41/02
October 9, 2002


1. On May 5, 1997, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Commission” or “the IACHR”) received a petition lodged by the Asociación de Familiares de
Detenidos y Desaparecidos de Colombia (ASFADDES), the Federación Latinoamericana de
Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos (FEDEFAM), and the Comisión
Colombiana de Juristas (CCJ) (hereinafter “the petitioners”) in which they allege the
responsibility of state agents of the Republic of Colombia (hereinafter “the State” or “the
Colombian State”) for the torture and disappearance of José del Carmen Álvarez Blanco,
Fermín Agresor Moreno, Víctor Manuel Argel Hernández, Genor Arrieta Lara, Cristóbal Manuel
Arroyo Blanco, Diomédes Barrera Orozco, Urías Barrera Orozco, José Encarnación Barrera
Orozco (minor), Ricardo Manuel Bohórquez Pastrana, Jorge Fermín Calle Hernández, Jorge
Arturo Castro Galindo, Ovidio Carmona Suárez, Genaro Benito Calderón Ramos, Juan Miguel
Cruz Ruiz, Ariel Euclides Díaz Delgado, Camilo Antonio Durango Moreno, Juan Luis Escobar
Duarte, José Leonel Escobar Duarte, César Augusto Espinoza Pulgarín, Wilson Flórez Fuentes,
Andrés Manuel Flórez Altamira, Santiago Manuel Gonzáles López, Carmelo Guerra Pestana,
Miguel Ángel Gutiérrez Arrieta, Lucio Miguel Hurzula Sotelo, Ángel Benito Jiménez Julio, Manuel
Ángel López Cuadrado, Jorge Martínez Pacheco, Mario Melo, Carlos Melo, Juan Mesa Serrano,
Pedro Antonio Mercado Montes, Manuel de Jesús Montes Martínez (minor), Luis Carlos Pérez
Ricardo, Miguel Pérez, Raúl Antonio Pérez Martínez, Benito José Pérez Pedroza, Euclides
Ricardo Pérez, Andrés Manuel Pedroza Jiménez, José Manuel Petro Hernández, Luis Miguel
Salgado Barrios, Célimo Urrutia Hurtado, and Eduardo Zapata, in the context of a paramilitary
incursion perpetrated on January 14, 1990, in the locality of Pueblo Bello, municipality of
Turbo, department of Antioquia.
2. The petitioners alleged that the State was responsible for violating the rights to life, humane
treatment, and personal liberty enshrined in Articles 4, 5, and 7 of the American Convention on
Human Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention” or “the Convention”), as well as the
judicial guarantees and protections provided for at Articles 8 and 25 of the Convention, to the
detriment of the victims and their next-of-kin, and the generic obligation to respect and ensure
the rights protected therein. As regards the admissibility of the claim, the petitioners alleged
that the exceptions to the requirement to exhaust domestic remedies set out at Articles
46(2)(a) and 46(2)(c) of the Convention apply in the instant case. The State alleged that the
participation of state agents in the incidents alleged had not been proven, and that the local
courts had acted lawfully; accordingly, in its view, no right enshrined in the American
Convention was violated.
3. After analyzing the parties’ positions, the Commission concluded that it is competent to take
cognizance of the case brought by petitioners, and that the case is admissible, under Articles
46 and 47 of the American Convention.


4. On February 12, 1990, the Commission received an urgent action reporting the
disappearance of 43 peasant farmers in Pueblo Bello. On that same day, under procedural
number 10.566, the IACHR approached the State to request information, under the
Regulations in force until April 30, 2001. The State answered on May 10, 1990 and the
response was forwarded to the complainants on June 26, 1990 with 30 days to present
observations. On December 6, 1990, the IACHR received information from another source on
the matter, which was sent to the State for observations. The State presented its response on
August 16, 1991. The Commission sought to communicate with the original complainant by
written communications dated June 9, 1993, and January 18, 1994, unsuccessfully. On

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