REPORT Nº 73/05 PETITION 4534/2003 ADMISSIBILITY OSCAR IVÁN TABARES TORO COLOMBIA October 13, 2005 I. SUMMARY 1. On November 18, 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”), received a petition from the Interdisciplinary Group for Human Rights (GIDH) (hereinafter “the petitioners”), in which it alleged the forced disappearance of a soldier, Oscar Iván Tabares Toro, on December 28, 1997, while he was camped with the Tigre Company of the General Carlos Julio Gil Colorado Artillery School of No. 1 Mobile Brigade of Army Battalion No.2, in the village of Toledo in the Municipality of San Juanito, Department of Meta, Republic of Colombia (hereinafter “the State,” “the Colombian State,” or “Colombia”) and the lack of judicial clarification of the circumstances of his disappearance. 2. The petitioners allege that the State is responsible for violation of the right to recognition of juridical personality, and the rights to life, humane treatment, personal liberty, a fair trial, and judicial protection, as enshrined in Articles 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention”), considered together with the general obligation in Article 1(1), to respect and guarantee the rights established in the Convention. As regards the admissibility of this petition, the petitioners allege that it should be exempt from the requirement of prior exhaustion of domestic remedies stipulated in Article 46(1) of the American Convention, by applying the exception contained in its Article 46(2)(c). On the other hand, the Colombian State has requested the Commission to declare the complaint lodged by the petitioners inadmissible, on the grounds of failure to comply with the requirement of prior exhaustion of domestic remedies stipulated in Article 46(1)(a) of the American Convention. 3. After analyzing the positions of the parties, the Commission concluded that it was competent to consider the petition and that the allegations pertaining to Articles 1(1), 4, 5, 7, 8, and 25 were admissible, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention. II. PROCEDURES OF THE COMMISSION 4. The petition was lodged with the Commission on November 18, 2002, in a communication dated November 15, 2002. The Commission registered the petition as Number P4534/2002, and on November 13, 2003, it transmitted to the State a copy of the relevant parts, granting it a period of two months to submit information on the allegations contained in the petition, in accordance with Article 30(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the IACHR. On January 14, 2004, the Colombian State requested the Commission to grant a 30-day extension of the period for submitting its response. On January 21 2004, the Commission granted the requested extension. On October 13, 2004, the Commission sent a letter to the State in which it reiterated its request to submit its observations on the petition lodged by the petitioners, and its noncompliance with the deadline extended to February 21, 2004. In a communication dated February 23, 2005, the State submitted its response, which was forwarded to the petitioners in a communication dated March 7, 2005, granting the petitioners 30 days to submit their observations.