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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 182nd session
(Cape Town, 18 April 2008)

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/182/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 181st session (October 2007),

Taking into account the communication from the President of the Colombian Congress of 8 November 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,

Taking into account the communication from the President of the Colombian Congress of 8 November 2007 and that of 30 November 2007 from the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva forwarding information from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs,

Recalling that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights decided in 2006 to examine the merits of the petition lodged in March 1997 pertaining to the persecution of the Unión Patriótica and the crimes committed against its members, including Mr. Motta, and had already decided in 2005 to do so with respect to the petition lodged in the case of Mr. Cepeda's assassination; taking into account the communication of 20 December 2007 which the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights addressed to the Committee Vice-President, Senator Rosario Green, summarizing the current state of the proceedings in the cases before the Commission; considering that at the meeting between the IPU Secretary General and his counterpart of the Organization of American States that took place in Washington on 5 March 2008, in the presence of the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission, the IPU Secretary General was told that with respect to at least one of the two petitions a pronouncement would be made before the end of 2008,

Considering that, in her February 2008 report on the human rights situation in Colombia (A/HRC/7/39), the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that “structural problems persist in the administration of justice” and that there was "a need for further progress in the fight against impunity,

  1. Reaffirms its belief that a pronouncement by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the petition pertaining to the persecution of the Unión Patriótica will be of great significance to advance the cause of justice in the case of Mr. Motta; is gratified therefore that the Inter-American Commission will soon rule on the merits of the petition; would greatly appreciate being kept informed in this respect and receiving a copy of the ruling as soon as it is available;

  2. Welcomes the readiness of the President of the Colombian Congress to ensure a regular dialogue to help promote a satisfactory solution, including in this case; remains convinced that, through its oversight role, the Colombian Congress has a responsibility and an opportunity to help ensure that the State of Colombia complies with its duty to make a determined effort to hold perpetrators of human rights abuses to account and provide victims and their families with reparation and that, should the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights conclude it has failed to do so, this situation is promptly addressed and remedied; trusts that the Congress will be attentive to the forthcoming ruling by the Inter-American Commission and will do everything in its power to ensure its full implementation;

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

  4. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 119th Assembly of the IPU (Geneva, October 2008).
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