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Resolution adopted by consensus by the IPU Governing Council at its 178th session
(Nairobi, 12 May 2006)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Senator Hernán Motta Motta of Colombia, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/178/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 177th session (October 2005),

Taking account of the communication of 16 March 2006 from the Director of the Presidential Programme on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law whereby he forwards a copy of a report from the Attorney General's Office,

Recalling that the name of Mr. Motta, a member of the Patriotic Union (Unión Patriótica), was on a hit list drawn up by the paramilitary group led by Mr. Carlos Castaño Gil and that Mr. Motta received death threats which forced him into exile in October 1997,

Considering the latest report from the Attorney General's Office, according to which by decision dated 23 June 2001 the investigation into the threats was discontinued (resolución inhibitoria), while stressing that Mr. Motta had failed to appear for the purpose of amplifying the complaint or to justify his absence despite a number of requests by the judicial authorities, Recalling that since 1999 a friendly settlement procedure has been under way before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, following a petition lodged in March 1997 pertaining to the persecution of the Unión Patriótica political party, and that several working groups have been set up in that connection to examine human rights violations perpetrated against that party’s members,

Considering the open letter of 3 May 2006 from two Colombian non-governmental human rights organizations, both petitioners in the Unión Patriótica case, addressed to the current President of Colombia, in which they emphasize that, despite the latter's express acknowledgement of the persecution of the Unión Patriótica and commitment to putting in place safeguards to avoid a repeat of these violations, there has been no effective official action in response to the continuing assassinations, attacks and harassment suffered by Unión Patriótica members and survivors, and that reportedly one of the campaign spots in the current President's re-election campaign spreads unfounded accusations against the Unión Patriótica,

Considering that, on 3 May 2006, the source affirmed that the Commission had undertaken an in-depth examination of the overall Unión Patriótica case and had expressed willingness to review its substance,

    Thanks the Director of the Presidential Programme on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law for the information provided;

  1. Is perplexed by the contention that the investigation into the death threats may have been abandoned owing to a lack of full cooperation from Mr. Motta; recalls that before going into exile he provided substantive leads to the investigation and has since been available from his new country of residence to provide additional details to help advance the inquiry, the successful outcome of which can only be considered to be in his full interest;

  2. Is deeply concerned at the failure of the authorities to honour the commitments they assumed in the framework of the friendly settlement procedure, which could have provided non-judicial redress to Mr. Motta and his family;

  3. Strongly urges the State of Colombia to comply with its duty under international human rights law and the American Convention on Human Rights, which entails its obligation to ensure that justice is done and remedy provided for past abuses;

  4. Notes that a new stage has been reached in the consideration of the Unión Patriótica case by the Inter-American Commission, and requests the Secretary General to seek further particulars in this respect;

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

  6. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held during the 115th IPU Assembly (October 2006).
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