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Resolution adopted unanimously by the Governing Council
at its 174rd session (Mexico, 23 April 2004)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the outline of the case of Mr.Lizcano, Mr.Gechen Turbay, Mr.Eladio Pérez Bonilla, Mr.Beltrán Cuéllar, Ms.Polanco de Lozada and Ms.González de Perdomo, all members of the Colombian Congress, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/174/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 173rd session (October 2003),

Taking account of an information note from the Attorney General’s Office, dated 6 October 2003, forwarded by the Office of the Presidential Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Programme, and of a letter from the Director of the Programme dated 52004,

Recalling that all six members of the Colombian Congress were kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) between 52000 and 23 February 2002 and remain in their hands to date; the health of Mr.and Mr.érez has seriously deteriorated in captivity and there is no conclusive evidence that the others are still alive,

Recalling that in December 2002 President Uribe asked the National Reconciliation Commission to assist in constituting a “rapprochement committee” in order to reduce mutual distrust and to discuss and determine the framework for the humanitarian agreement; in January 2003, that committee was officially established; however, according to the information gathered by the IPU's on-site mission in March/April 2003, FARC rejected the committee as its mandate was only “rapprochement” and not negotiation; noting that, according to a member of the Colombian delegation at a hearing held on the occasion of the 110th IPU Assembly (April 2004), no official efforts were being made to revive the process,

Noting that the information provided by the Director of the Presidential Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Programme, regarding the conditions of a humanitarian agreement, confirms the information gathered by the IPU's mission, namely that: (a)release of FARC members detained legally is conditional on the release of all those being held hostage by that group; (b) the persons whom they wish to see released should not return to its ranks, but should be taken by a friendly country; (c) there is no reason why parts of the country should be demilitarised and left without the protection of the law enforcement agencies; and (d)Government has called on the United Nations and the Church to participate in such a process,

Considering that, while no formal negotiations or contacts between the Government, the United Nations or the Church have been effected with a view to reaching a humanitarian agreement, the Government concluded the Santa Fe de Ralito agreement of 152003 with the main paramilitary groups and introduced a wide-ranging bill in Congress on their demobilisation,

Recalling that Peace Committees and Human Rights Committees exist in both Chambers of the National Congress and that, in May 2003, the House of Representatives organised a Seminar on the conditions of a humanitarian agreement and on children in war; considering that neither Congress nor any of its Peace Committees has since taken any further initiative to resolve the hostage crisis; noting in this connection that, in his communication dated 52004, the President of the Senate reported that he would forward to the President of the Senate Human Rights Committee and to the Secretary General of the Senate the IPU Secretary General's letter informing him  the Senate President  of the IPU's concerns in this case,

Considering the following information contained in the Attorney General's Office note of 62003 concerning the stage reached in the investigations and proceedings of the six kidnapping cases:

  • Mr. Lizcano's case is at the investigation stage; Nelson Enrique Gañán Bueno, Luis Horacio Medina López and Rosa Omaira Chaura Uchima are charged with kidnapping with extortion and insurgency;

  • Mr. Gechen's case is at a preliminary stage; on 72003 Robinson Matiz Cubides was remanded in custody without the possibility of pre-trial release for the punishable offences of skyjacking and kidnapping;

  • In the case of Mr.Pérez's case, the FARC leadership and seven others were charged in absentia and a warrant for their arrest had been issued on charges of kidnapping with extortion and insurgency; on 29 January 2003, José Albeiro Ambito Salazar was indicted;

  • On 22002, Mr.Escobar Polanía was ordered to appear in court in connection with Mr.án's kidnapping; on 2 and 5 May 2002, the FARC leadership and Jair Bello Mora were charged in absentia; moreover, on 162003, information was requested on the capture of “Coloreto” (alias);

  • The investigation found that Sandy Rocío Villalba Mosquera and 14 others were involved in the kidnapping of Ms.de Lozada; the court is currently considering the evidence,

Considering that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in his latest report on the human rights situation in Colombia (doc. E.CN.4/2004/13), urged as follows: "The High Commissioner recommends that the Government, the illegal armed groups and representative sectors of civil society spare no effort to establish contacts for dialogue and negotiation in order to resolve the internal armed conflict and achieve a lasting peace. The dialogues and negotiations should from the outset take human rights and international humanitarian law into account. The High Commissioner exhorts the Government and Congress to fully honour the fundamental principles of truth, justice and reparation for victims, in all dialogues and negotiations with illegal armed groups.",

  1. Thanks the President of the Colombian Congress for his communication; deeply regrets, however, that he has not shared with it any information or observations regarding the Council's serious concerns in this case;

  2. Thanks the Director of the Presidential Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Programme for the elaborate information he provided;

  3. Remains deeply concerned that the six parliamentarians in question have been in FARC hands for up to more than three and a half years, and that no indication has been received as to their fate;

  4. Is dismayed at the absence of any progress towards the negotiation of a humanitarian agreement permitting the release of all those held hostage by FARC, in sharp contrast to the advanced negotiations with the paramilitary groups;

  5. Urges the Colombian authorities for this purpose to embark with the same determination on the path of negotiations with FARC and, as a first step, to do their utmost to arrange for the International Committee of the Red Cross to obtain access to the parliamentarians concerned in order to provide them with the necessary medical assistance;

  6. Reaffirms that the Congress of Colombia can and should play an essential role in securing a national consensus on the need for a prompt humanitarian agreement, in monitoring the negotiations taking place to that effect, and in adopting such laws as may be necessary to permit its implementation; calls on the Congress, together with both its Human Rights and its Peace Committees, to make use of its prerogatives as a body representing the people and to take initiatives, as it has done in the past, to do everything possible to contribute to the peace process;

  7. Once again urges FARC to respect international humanitarian law, to release the civilian hostages immediately and unconditionally, and to refrain from the unlawful and unacceptable practice of kidnapping;

  8. Would appreciate being kept informed of further developments in bringing the presumed kidnappers to justice;

  9. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the competent authorities and to the sources;

  10. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 111th Assembly (September-October 2004).

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