In September 2001, Ms X was sexually assaulted and raped by three members of the Colombian Army after Ms X and a male friend had been taken onto military grounds. There, servicemen had forced Ms X and her male friend to have sex and subsequently had sexually assaulted Ms X. Ms X reported the attack to the Human Rights Unit of the Fourth Brigade and to the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia. The petitioners claimed that, following the complaint, the Fourth Brigade undertook a disciplinary investigation which found that there was no conclusive evidence to implicate military personnel. After Ms X underwent scientific tests, one of the attackers (who she had also seen during the attack) admitted to his participation and was subsequently prosecuted and convicted. This attacker also confessed he had not acted alone.

The petitioners claimed that the Office of the Attorney General had shown no intention of charging the remaining two servicemen; that insufficient investigations were carried out and instead the Office of the Attorney General undertook a preliminary investigation without identifying any possible responsible individuals; and that the disciplinary investigation was also improperly conducted by the military and that it should have been done by the Office of the Prosecutor General of Colombia. The petitioners alleged that these constituted violations of a range of rights protected under the American Convention on Human Rights and the American Declaration, including the rights to humane treatment, liberty, fair trial, effective remedy.