Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 169th session (Ouagadougou, 14 September 2001)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the resolution it adopted at its 168th session (April 2001) on the case of Mr. Oscar Lizcano of Colombia and to the related report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians,

Recalling that Mr. Lizcano was kidnapped by the main Colombian guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), while he was attending the inauguration of a football field on 5 August 2000 in Riosucio, in the Province of Caldas, the region he represents in Parliament; the kidnapping was related to municipal elections since all the local political candidates were kidnapped along with Mr. Lizcano; while they were released, Mr. Lizcano remains in the hands of FARC,

Considering that, according to the information provided by the source on 2 April and 20 June 2001, Mr. Lizcano's health has seriously deteriorated in captivity,

Recalling that the Colombian authorities have been engaged for some time in a process of negotiation with FARC, and that after a two-day meeting on 8 and 9 February 2001, the President of the Republic and the leader of FARC agreed to prolong the existing demilitarised zone for a further eight months; under this process, the Colombian authorities signed an agreement with FARC on 2 June 2001 concerning an exchange of sick rebels for kidnapped government soldiers, which led to a first release on 17 June 2001 and a second release of 250 police officer and soldiers at the end of July 2001,

Recalling also that the Colombian authorities have shown in the past that when there is sufficient political will they are capable of securing someone's release, as was clearly illustrated in the case of the brother of the main government negotiator with FARC, whose release the Government obtained in a matter of days,

Stressing that a government is obliged to ensure the safety of all of its citizens and, when such safety is jeopardised by non-State actors, a lack of adequate government action to restore it may result in the authorities sharing accountability for the crime by omission,

  1. Deeply regrets that the Colombian authorities, in particular the National Congress, have not provided any information or observation concerning the kidnapping of Mr. Lizcano and the efforts made to secure his release;

  2. Remains deeply concerned that Mr. Lizcano has now been in FARC hands for over a year, despite the ongoing talks between the Government and the guerrilla group;

  3. Urges the Colombian authorities once again, in their negotiations with FARC, to make his release a priority, particularly in view of his reportedly impaired health;

  4. Wishes to ascertain whether the authorities have sought to arrange access for the International Committee of the Red Cross in order to provide him with the necessary medical assistance;

  5. Believes that Parliament has a particular interest in taking action not only to secure the release of one of its members but also to prevent such kidnappings in the future, constituting as they do a threat to Parliament as such and to the citizens it represents; wishes to ascertain whether the National Congress has taken any steps to secure Mr. Lizcano's release;

  6. Considers that an on-site mission would contribute to progress in this case and, consequently, requests the Secretary General to contact the parliamentary authorities with a view to exploring the possibility of such a mission, whose mandate would be to meet with the competent parliamentary and governmental authorities, the source and any other entities possibly able to assist in finding a satisfactory solution;

  7. Requests the Secretary General to communicate this resolution to the parliamentary authorities and to the source;

  8. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session (March 2002), in the light of such information as the on-site mission may have gathered.

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