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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. Gustavo Petro Urrego, a member of the Colombian Senate, 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),

Taking into account the communication from the Director of the Presidential Programme on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, dated 23 April 2007, which includes a description by the Ministry of Justice and the Interior of the security measures afforded to Senator Petro,

Recalling that Mr. Petro has repeatedly received death threats from paramilitary groups over a long period, and that with respect to one such threat the Commander of the Bloque Tolima of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), demobilized on 22 October 2005, was identified as a suspect and heard in Court on 22 January and 12 February 2007; the investigation has been at the preliminary stage since 2004 and the prosecuting authorities have requested further evidence-taking,

Recalling that Mr. Petro has been a staunch and vocal critic of the Law on Peace and Justice (No. 975 of 2005) regarding the demobilization of paramilitary groups and has publicly denounced the infiltration of paramilitary groups into the political arena, and that he recently again received death threats,

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

  2. Notes that extensive security measures are in place for Mr. Petro; trusts that, in consultation with him, the authorities will regularly assess their effectiveness and the risks he faces and, if need be, will adjust his security detail;

  3. Remains deeply concerned at the latest death threats against Mr. Petro; urges the authorities to do everything in their power to identify and bring to justice the culprits as a matter of urgency since this is the only means of effectively preventing such threats and their execution in the future; would appreciate information on steps taken in this regard;

  4. Trusts that judicial proceedings against the detained former paramilitary commander suspected of being behind death threats made against Mr. Petro before 2004 are well under way; would greatly appreciate confirmation thereof;

  5. Reaffirms that the Colombian Congress has a special responsibility to ensure that its members can exercise their parliamentary mandate free of any threat or intimidation; calls on the parliamentary authorities to follow Mr. Petro's situation closely to ensure due administration of justice in his case and adequate protection for him; nevertheless deeply regrets the prolonged absence of any information on action taken in this regard;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to inform the authorities and the source accordingly;

  7. 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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