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Resolution adopted without a vote by the IPU Council
at its 170th session (Marrakech, 23 March 2002)

The Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the outline of the case of Senator Hernán Motta Motta of Colombia, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/170/13.c(ii)-R.1), and to the relevant resolution adopted at its 169th session (September 2001),

Recalling that Mr. Motta, a member of the Unión Patriótica, had been receiving death threats which forced him into exile in October 1997,

Recalling that, according to information provided by the Human Rights Office of the Vice-Presidency of the Republic on 28 April 2000, the investigation into the death threats is being conducted by the Special Prosecutor of Santa Fe de Bogotá and is still at the preliminary stage; that the Office, under the new name Human and Humanitarian Rights Programme Vice-Presidency of the Republic, reported on 23 August 2001 that it had been in contact with the National Director of the Prosecutor's Office (Directora Nacional de Fiscalías) to seek information on progress made in the relevant investigation, but so far to no avail,

Recalling that the former Human Rights Office intended to contact members of the Unión Patriótica to ascertain whether they had received any new information which might help to advance the investigation; considering in this respect, however, that Mr. Motta says he has so far not been contacted for that purpose,

Noting that no new information has been submitted to indicate that progress is being made towards identifying and apprehending those behind the death threats,

Recalling the proposal it made at its 169th session (September 2001) for an on-site mission in order to promote a satisfactory settlement in this case; noting that the parliamentary authorities responded favourably to that proposal by making the necessary arrangements for the mission to go ahead, but that a sudden change in the political climate prevented it from taking place as scheduled, namely the breakdown of the peace negotiations on which the Government had embarked in early 1999 with the main armed opposition group, the FARC, following the kidnapping of Senator Eduardo Gechem; the FARC subsequently kidnapped former Senator Ingrid Betancourt and a week later assassinated in cold blood Senator Martha Catalina Daniels, her driver and a friend,

Noting that since those attacks a new Congress was elected in early March 2002,

  1. Thanks the former parliamentary authorities for their efforts with a view to receiving the mission; deeply regrets that, owing to the changed political situation, the Committee was compelled to decide that it was no longer appropriate for the mission to take place as scheduled;
  2. Is alarmed at the recent wave of violence against MPs, which is all the more serious in that it prevents them from defending and promoting human rights and hence jeopardises the institution of Parliament itself;
  3. Considers that, in the absence of any positive developments in the case under examination, the grounds for the mission remain fully valid;
  4. Believes, however, that the mission should only take place once the socio-political context allows it to fulfil its mandate of gathering the fullest possible information from the competent parliamentary, executive, administrative and judicial authorities;
  5. Would greatly appreciate meanwhile receiving from the authorities, in particular the new Congress, any information on progress in the case in question;
  6. Requests the Secretary General to communicate this resolution to the parliamentary authorities and to the source;
  7. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session (September 2002), in the light of such information as the on-site mission may gather.

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