Congressman Ivan Cepeda Castro, son of Patriotic Union Senator Manuel Cepeda who was murdered in 1994, appealed to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) to demand the Colombian government respects his dignity.
The request follows an IACHR ruling that condemns the Colombian government for the murder of Manuel Cepeda. The judicial body accused the Colombian government of failing to adequately investigate the case, and ordered a public apology and compensation for Cepeda’s family.
Both ex-Agriculture Minister Andres Felipe Arias and presidential advisor Jose Obdulio Gaviria spoken out against the international court’s ruling in recent days.
Gaviria wrote a newspaper column emphasizing the slain senator’s links with the FARC, while Arias wrote a column asking why Ivan Cepeda Castro had given an interview to Anncol, which he characterized as “FARC media.”
While the Colombian government has in the past accepted responsibility for the death of Cepeda, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe refused to affirm the state’s role in the murder, despite requests from Cepeda’s family.
“I cannot say that the state assassinated Senator Cepeda. What I can say is that he was murdered and that is very serious and cannot be repeated,” the president explained.
Congressman Cepeda Castro leads the Victims of State Crime Movement, which attempts to certify IACHR decisions and ensure political sanctions are imposed on the state if it fails to abide its rulings.
In 2006 the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of Ivan Cepeda Castro and members of the Manuel Cepeda Vargas Foundation because of threats and surveillance against them.