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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 Mr. Oscar Lizcano 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. Lizcano was kidnapped by the main Colombian guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), while attending the inauguration of a football field on 5 August 2000 in Riosucio, in the Province of Caldas,

Considering that, according to the information provided by the source on 15 January 2002, the FARC is said to have publicly stated on various occasions, and again recently in a video sent to President Pastrana, that the kidnapping of Mr. Lizcano is a political act and that the video reportedly showed Mr. Lizcano to be seriously ill,

Recalling that the Colombian authorities were engaged for some time in a process of negotiation with the FARC, which resulted in an exchange of sick rebels for kidnapped government soldiers in mid-2001 while leaving, along with Mr. Lizcano, six other Congressmen in the hands of the FARC, namely Juan Manuel López Cabrales, Luis Pérez Bonilla, Orlando Beltrán Cuéllar, Consuelo González, Luis Eladio Pérez and José Gechem Turbay; noting, however, that the negotiations broke down in February 2002 following the kidnapping of Senator Eduardo Gechem, and 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, while she was attempting to establish contacts with the FARC to alleviate the plight of their kidnapped colleagues,

Recalling that States are obliged to ensure the safety of all their 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,

Recalling furthermore the proposal it made at its 169th session (September 2001) that an on-site mission be carried out to promote a satisfactory settlement, given the lack of 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 the sudden change in the political climate prevented it from taking place as scheduled,

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 view of Mr. Lizcano's continued captivity, 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 meeting with the competent parliamentary and governmental authorities, the source and any other entities possibly able to assist in reaching a satisfactory solution;
  5. Would greatly appreciate meanwhile receiving from the authorities, in particular the new Congress, any information on progress towards Mr. Lizcano's release and towards arranging access for the International Committee of the Red Cross in order to provide him with the necessary medical assistance;
  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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