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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 Ms. Piedad Córdoba 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),

Noting that no new information has been forthcoming to indicate progress in apprehending Carlos Castaño, who has been officially linked to the investigation concerning the kidnapping (21 May to 4 June 1999) and subsequent death threats against Ms. Córdoba, who was forced into exile but recently returned to Colombia,

Recalling the proposal it made at its 169th session (September 2001) for an on-site mission in order to promote progress 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,

Considering that 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 investigations into the kidnapping of and death threats against Ms. Córdoba and the tapping of her telephone, 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 on the case from the competent parliamentary, executive, administrative and judicial authorities, as well as from Ms. Córdoba and the competent lawyers and human rights organisations concerned;
  5. Would greatly appreciate meanwhile receiving from the authorities, in particular the new Congress, any information on progress made in the investigations, in particular with respect to apprehending Carlos Castaño, together with information on whether any security measures have been afforded to Ms. Córdoba upon her return;
  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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