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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 Ms. Piedad Córdoba 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 Senator Córdoba was kidnapped and held by the paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) between 21 May and 4 June 1999, and that an arrest warrant was issued on 26 June 2002 for Mr. Iván Roberto Duque Gaviria, alias Ernesto Báez, who is one of the representatives of the paramilitary groups in the negotiations with the authorities and is held in the high-security prison of Itagüí; he was heard on 12 June 2006 as part the preliminary proceedings in this case; on 13 July 2006 the Attorney General confirmed the detention order served on him,

Recalling that an attempt was made on Ms. Córdoba's life in January 2003 and that the three persons arrested in that connection were all acquitted on 5 March 2005,

Considering that Ms. Córdoba regularly receives threats in connection with her vocal criticism of the Colombian Government and outspoken denunciation of human rights violations in Colombia, and enjoys a security detail,

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. Remains deeply concerned that, five years after the attempt on Senator Córdoba's life, none of the culprits has been brought to justice;

  2. Stresses that ultimately the only effective protection of Senator Córdoba's physical integrity combines an appropriate security detail with resolute and effective action to identify and bring to trial the culprits of the attempt on her life and the threats against her; is therefore deeply concerned that no information is on file that any such action has recently been taken;

  3. Calls again on the authorities, obliged as they are to make a determined effort to hold perpetrators of human rights abuses to account, to pursue this matter with the utmost urgency and diligence; reaffirms in this respect that, through its oversight role, the Colombian Congress has a responsibility and is indeed provided with an opportunity to help ensure that such an effort is made at all times; appreciates therefore the express readiness of the President of the Colombian Congress to ensure a regular dialogue to help promote a satisfactory settlement of the cases of current and former Colombian members of Congress; and would greatly appreciate receiving information on any action being taken by Congress to help further the cause of justice in the case of Senator Córdoba;

  4. Trusts that the judicial proceedings against the presumed culprit in detention in the kidnapping of Senator Córdoba have advanced well; would appreciate confirmation thereof;

  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 on the occasion of the 119th Assembly of the IPU (Geneva, October 2008).
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