Position of the petitioners

The petitioners indicate that Oscar Iván Tabares Toro was serving as a
professional soldier in the Colombian Army, assigned to Mobile Brigade No. 1,
Battalion 2, of the Tigre Company of the General Carlos Julio Gil Colorado Artillery
School. At the time of the events, the Tigre Company of the General Carlos Julio Gil
Colorado Artillery School was camped in the village of Toledo in the Municipality of
San Juanito, Department of Meta.
The petitioners allege that Oscar Tabares Toro visited his family for
the last time in October 1997, and during that visit he commented to his mother,
María Helena Toro, that he was having problems with Lieutenant Iván Ramiro
Rodríguez Piza, commander of the patrol to which he belonged. They further report
that in December 1997, he again communicated with his mother to tell her, in a state
of distress, that he had to buy a new tent, because his commanding officer,
Lieutenant Rodríguez Piza, “had thrown a lit candle on the tent and it had burned,”
for no reason whatsoever.
The petitioners report that, despite the fact that Oscar Tabares Toro
communicated regularly with his family, oddly he did not do so on December 31,
1997, or on January 1, 1998. Consequently, Mrs. María Elena Toro attempted to call
the mobile phone of her son, but she was not able to establish contact with him, until
on January 6, 1998, she managed to reach one of his companions, who told her that
she should call the Artillery School to find out where he was. The petitioners allege
that during this conversation, Mrs. Toro hear someone say to the person she was
talking to: “tell her the truth.”
On January 8, 1998, the family of Oscar Tabares traveled to the city
of Bogotá for the purpose of visiting the facilities of the General Carlos Julio Gil
Colorado Artillery School, as they were advised to do. They state that they were met
there by Captain Kell Soler Linares, who was replacing Colonel Germán Galvis, and
who told them that the only information he could give them was that “Soldier Tabares
Toro threw a grenade at Lieutenant Rodríguez Piza and that he had run away, but
they were looking for him.” However, the petitioners allege that Mrs. Toro received
information from other soldiers in the battalion indicating that on December 28, 1997,
Lieutenant Iván Rodríguez Ramírez Piza had attacked Oscar Iván Tabares Toro and
tried to asphyxiate him with his gun, and that after that they heard shots. They
further report that following those incidents, various soldiers close to Oscar Iván were
discharged from the Army.
Despite the explanation provided by the military authorities, the
petitioners allege that Iván Tabares Toro had not deserted, but had disappeared while
he was still on duty, under the jurisdiction and control of the Tigre Company of the
General Carlos Julio Gil Colorado Artillery School on December 28, 1997, in the village
of Toledo, Municipality of San Juanito. Consequently, on January 8, 1998, Mrs. María
Helena Toro filed a report on the disappearance of her son with the Tisquesusa Police
Station in Bogotá, which was registered as No. 018, and on January 18, 1998,
another complaint of disappearance was lodged with the Public Prosecutor of the
Department of Antioquia.
The petitioners allege that “inexplicably,” on January 20, 1998, the
treasurer of Mobile Brigade No. 1, with the authorization of Colonel Galvis, issued an
order to the Manager of the Banco Cafetero to deliver the savings in the bank account
of Oscar Iván Tabares Toro to Mrs. María Helena Tabares.

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