N° 86/09




Washington, D.C., December 24, 2009 — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) deplores the assassination of the governor of the department of Caquetá, Luis Francisco Cuéllar, in Colombia. According to the information received, the governor was kidnapped from his home on December 21, 2009, and his body was found the following day. Police officer Javier García was also killed in the incident, and two other police officers were wounded. The government of Colombia attributed responsibility for the acts to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).


The Inter-American Commission repudiates and condemns the assassination, which constitutes a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. The IACHR reiterates that the taking of hostages is a grave crime, prohibited under the standards of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. In this regard, the Commission strongly urges the FARC to respect the life and security of those persons it is holding illegally, and to proceed to release them, immediately and without conditions.


The IACHR expresses its condolences to the relatives and friends of governor Luis Francisco Cuéllar and of police officer Javier García Gutiérrez, whose violent deaths represent a severe blow to Colombian society and to all those who harbor the hope of overcoming the armed conflict and achieving peace.  


A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.


Useful links:  

IACHR Press Office

IACHR Website






Read this press release in Spanish / Lea este comunicado de prensa en español


Press contact: María Isabel Rivero
Tel. (202) 458-3867


To subscribe to the IACHR press release mailing list, please type your e-mail address in this form.