Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 163rd session (Moscow, 12 September 1998)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/163/12(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 162nd session (April 1998) concerning the case of Senator Hernán Motta Motta and Congressman Nelson Veloria, of Colombia,

Taking account of the information provided by the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Human Rights on 7 July 1998,

Recalling that, according to the source, Senator Hernán Motta Motta and former Representative Nelson Veloria, Vice-President of the Patriotic Union, had for some time been subjected to death threats, their names being on the " hit list " of the second phase of the Golpe de Gracia plan reportedly aimed at eliminating the remaining national leaders of the Patriotic Union,

Also recalling that, according to the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Human Rights, following a complaint, investigations have been launched into the death threats against Senator Motta, but so far with no result; and, as regards the death threats against Mr. Veloria, no complaint has ever been received,

Considering that in September 1997 the source reported an increased number of death threats against Senator Motta Motta and plans to hinder his parliamentary activities by bringing false charges of collaboration with the " narco-guerrillas " against him and that, as a result, he was forced into exile in October 1997; that in February 1998 the same source reported that paramilitary gangs had come to Bogotá to kill Mr. Veloria, who might therefore also be forced to leave the country,

Considering that, according to information supplied by the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Human Rights on 7 July 1998, subsequent to a complaint submitted by Senator Motta Motta and others on 29 January 1998, a Regional Prosecutor attached to the Santafé Prosecutor's Office opened preliminary investigation N° 32695 regarding alleged violations of the human rights of members and sympathisers of the Colombian Communist Party and of the Patriotic Union,

Considering also that, as regards the alleged threats against Mr. Veloria, the Office had stated in its letter of 16 July 1997 that the Prosecutor General had no knowledge of the alleged threats. The National Directorate of Public Prosecutions had distributed a countrywide communication circular to establish where and in which Prosecutor's Office the investigation was being conducted, but to no avail; that, on 7 July 1998, the Office reported that, although Mr. Veloria's name did not appear in the above-mentioned complaint, the taking of evidence in the case had been ordered, having regard to the IPU's concerns in this case. It was now for Mr. Veloria to supply the investigation with factual data regarding the alleged threats,

Recalling further its repeated recommendations that, in accordance with the Constitution of Colombia, a statutory law on the status of the opposition be drafted and adopted as soon as possible,

Noting that, in her report of 9 March 1998 on the work of the field office in Colombia, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the Colombian Government inter alia to " ... conduct independent and exhaustive investigations into all violations of the right to life, bring the culprits to justice and properly compensate their victims in order to put an end to the spiral of violence and impunity ",

1. Thanks the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Human Rights for its continuing co­operation and commends it for its effort to take into account the IPU's concerns regarding these cases;

2. Remains concerned that Mr. Motta was forced into exile for want of a thorough investigation of the death threats he had received and because the authorities reportedly did not afford him adequate protection;

3. Urges the competent authorities yet again to make every effort to identify those responsible for the death threats and bring them to justice, as is their duty, and also refers in this connection to the recommendation made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the aforesaid report;

4. Is gratified that the taking of evidence was ordered in the case of Mr. Veloria and hopes that this will permit an effective investigation;

5. Reaffirms its conviction that the adoption of legislation on the status of the opposition, as advocated in the resolution adopted in Windhoek in April 1998, would contribute to dispelling the climate of political violence still prevailing in Colombia;

6. Requests the Secretary General:

(i) To convey this decision to the President of the National Congress and of the National Group of Colombia;

(ii) To convey these considerations to the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Human Rights, inviting it to keep the Committee informed;

(iii) To convey its concerns to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia;

7. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session (April 1999).

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