Nº 13/00


The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) has learned of the death of the children Paula Andrea Arboleda, Alejandra Arboleda, Gustavo Isaza Carmona, David Ramírez, Marcela Sánchez and Harold Giovanni Tabares and of the wounds suffered by four other minors as a direct result of actions taken by members of the Colombian army on August 15, 2000 in the rural area of Pueblo Rico, in the department of Antioquia, Republic of Colombia. 


          The IACHR wishes to express its deepest regret for this tragedy, which has affected those who, as children, are entitled to special protection by the State. 

The Commission has conveyed to the Colombian authorities its special concern for clarification of the confusing incident that caused the death of these six children while they were on a school outing.  The State must fulfill its obligation to conduct a serious and exhaustive judicial enquiry, with every guarantee of independence and impartiality, in order to arrive at the truth, establish responsibility, and satisfy the rights of the relatives of the victims. 

The Commission will follow with the utmost attention progress made in investigating these facts in light of President Andrés Pastrana’s public commitment, of which it has taken note, and it hopes that the State will comply with its international obligations, including its duty to take serious and effective steps to protect the civilian population, and especially children, from the consequences of the armed conflict in Colombia.


Washington, D.C., August 21, 2000