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Resolution adopted unanimously by the Governing Council
at its 177th session (Geneva, 19th October 2005)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Ms. Piedad Córdoba of Colombia, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/177/11(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 176th session (April 2005),

Recalling that Ms. Córdoba, at the time a member of the Colombian Senate, was kidnapped by the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) paramilitary group and held between 21 May and 4 June 1999, and that there is no doubt about the involvement of its leader, Mr. Carlos Castaño, who disappeared in April 2004; considering that, according to the report from the Attorney General's Office, Mr. Carlos Castaño was formally indicted on 9 November 2004; and recalling that on 26 June 2002 an arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Iván Roberto Duque Gaviria, who was declared absent by the Court on 27 August 2002,

Recalling further that Ms. Córdoba was the target of attempts on her life in December 2002 and January 2003, that according to the information provided by the authorities in October 2003 and January 2004, the investigation into the attempt on her life of 20 January 2003 was then at the evidence-taking stage and four persons who had been placed in detention were implicated, that on 18 September 2003 a preliminary investigation had found them to be involved in that crime, and that the matter is currently pending, as the court must determine whether it should proceed to trial on the basis of the legal merits,

Considering that on 22 June 2005 the Congress adopted a law on justice and peace as a result of negotiations with the paramilitary groups, and that the law has been strongly criticized for not doing enough to guarantee that paramilitary structures are dismantled and that the right to truth and justice is respected,

Recalling that a special committee on the conduct of investigations into human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law was established under the Vice-President's programme to combat impunity, and that it has given priority to certain cases,

  1. Recalls that, under its international law obligations, the Colombian State is obliged to combat impunity effectively by apprehending and punishing human rights offenders, providing effective redress to their victims and taking effective action to ensure that such offences do not recur;

  2. Can only consider the failure to establish the whereabouts of the two persons who have been accused of Ms. Córdoba's kidnapping, six years after the crime, to indicate that the authorities have so far lacked the necessary resolve to ensure that this kidnapping does not go unpunished;

  3. Urges therefore once again the authorities to take all necessary measures to shed full light on the fate of Mr. Carlos Castaño and Mr. Iván Roberto Duque Gaviria and, if they are found to be alive, to apprehend them and bring them to trial as soon as possible; and trusts that this case will be given due attention by the aforesaid special committee;

  4. Earnestly hopes that, since the alleged perpetrators of the attempts on Ms. Córdoba's life are in detention, the proceedings have meanwhile reached or advanced towards their completion; and reiterates its wish for information in this regard;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the competent authorities and to the source;

  6. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held during the 114th IPU Assembly (May 2006).

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