For decades, victims of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Latin America have been demanding justice, truth, and reparations. Despite these efforts, impunity remains rampant. In some cases, victims have been waiting for justice for over four decades.
As a part of its strategy to promote accountability for serious human rights violations around the world, the ICJ, together with partners, is implementing a regional project to address justice for extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Colombia, Guatemala, and Peru, supported by the European Union.
One of the results of the project has been to support the production of three case dossiers by the ICJ’s local partners.
In Colombia, to illustrate one of the patterns of extrajudicial killings, the Asociación de Red Defensores y Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (dhColombia) produced a document concerning three cases of extrajudicial killings committed during 2006 and 2008.
The report Una práctica sistemática ejecuciones extrajudiciales en el eje cafetero (2006-2008) presents the challenges the victims and their lawyers have faced when seeking responsibility for those crimes.
In Peru, the Instituto de Defensa Legal (IDL) documented the enforced disappearances of university students and professors between 1989 to 1993, at the height of the internal conflict. In the report Los desaparecidos de la Universidad Nacional del Centro IDL describes the difficult legal path victims have faced in order to bring state agents suspected of committing crimes to justice.
In Guatemala, to highlight the manner in which enforced disappearances were committed against rural communities during the internal armed conflict, the Asociación de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos de Guatemala (Famdegua) wrote about the enforced disappearance of more than 500 people in the region of the Veparaces. In the report Las desapariciones forzadas en la región de las Verapaces the story of five cases is presented.
These three reports contribute towards understanding the prevalence of these violations in Latin America, and the available options to tackle impunity.
On 30 September 2020, the ICJ will host a regional webinar to discuss the protection and guarantee of the rights of victims of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala and Peru.
The webinar will be broadcast live on the ICJ’s Facebook page, at 14 hours (Guatemala time)/15 hours (Colombia and Peru time)/ 17 hours (Chile and Argentina time).
Kingsley Abbott, Coordinator of the Global Accountability Initiative, e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolina Villadiego Burbano, Legal and Policy Adviser, Latin America and Regional Coordinator of the Project, e: email@example.com
Rocío Quintero M, Legal Adviser, Latin America, e: firstname.lastname@example.org