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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 181st session
(Geneva, 10 October 2007)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Hernán Motta Motta of Colombia, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/181/11(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 180th session (May 2007),

Recalling that Mr. Motta, a member of the Unión Patriótica (Patriotic Union) party, was on a hit list drawn up by the paramilitary group led by Mr. Carlos Castaño Gil, that Mr. Motta received death threats which forced him into exile in October 1997, and that the investigations were discontinued in mid-2001 without yielding any result; that Mr. Castaño disappeared in mid-April 2004 and that his remains have since been found,

Recalling that pursuant to a petition lodged in March 1997 pertaining to the persecution of the Unión Patriótica and the crimes committed against its members, including Mr. Motta, an amicable settlement procedure has been pursued before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, with the express support of the authorities; however, claiming a lack of political will to advance the settlement procedure, at the end of 2006 the petitioners no longer wished to pursue it and requested the Inter-American Commission to examine the merits of their case; considering that, according to the information provided by one of the sources on 23 July 2007, the matter was pending a ruling by the Commission,

Recalling also that, in her March 2007 report on the human rights situation in Colombia (A/HRC/4/48), the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that "substantial efforts are still needed to overcome impunity" and that she "strongly hopes that the implementation of the policy of combating impunity will lead to concrete results in the investigation and punishment of human rights violations",

  1. Reiterates that it is the fundamental duty of any State to protect the lives of its citizens, to make a determined effort to hold perpetrators of human rights abuses to account and to provide victims and their families with reparation, and that this unequivocal obligation also stems from the American Convention on Human Rights and other human rights treaties to which Colombia is a party;

  2. Reaffirms the particular responsibility of the Colombian Congress, through its oversight role, to help ensure that such an effort is made at all times and that, should international monitoring bodies, such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, conclude that the Colombian authorities have failed to do so, such a situation is addressed and remedied without delay;

  3. Eagerly awaits the adoption of the ruling by the Inter-American Commission on the Unión Patriótica case as it concerns the case of Mr. Motta;

  4. Requests the Secretary General to inform the competent authorities and the source of this resolution;

  5. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 118th Assembly of the IPU (Cape Town, April 2008).
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