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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,

Having before it the case of Mr. Wilson Borja, an incumbent member of the Colombian Congress, which has been the subject of a study and report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians following the Procedure for the treatment by the Inter-Parliamentary Union of communications concerning violations of the human rights of members of parliament,

Taking note of the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, which contains a detailed outline of the case (CL/182/12(b)-R.1-Add.),

Taking into account the information provided at the hearing by members of the Colombian delegation to the 118th IPU Assembly,

Considering that Mr. Wilson Borja, an outspoken opposition member of the Congress, suffered an attempt on his life on 15 December 2000 which came after he had received repeated death threats; five persons have been sentenced and, on 26 August 2005, an indictment was brought against five other accused persons who had not yet been apprehended, including Mr. Carlos Castaño Gil, who disappeared in mid-April 2004 and whose remains have since been found and identified,

Considering that Mr. Borja has since continued to receive death threats and was provided with a security detail; although there were reportedly some concerns about its effectiveness, they appear to have been subsequently addressed; however, in early April 2008 the authorities, after a difference of opinion with Mr. Borja about the extent of his security arrangement, they decided to withdraw it altogether; since then, Mr. Borja has opted to stay at home,

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. Is alarmed that Mr. Borja's security detail is no longer in place, which leaves him totally defenceless in the face of the persistent threats against him and puts his life at great risk; insists in this respect that the attack on his life in 2000 makes it abundantly clear that those wishing to eliminate him physically do not hesitate to act on their threats, which therefore have to be taken extremely seriously;

  2. Urges therefore the authorities to provide him, as a matter of urgency, with the full security detail he requires, particularly since he is otherwise effectively prevented from exercising the mandate to which he was elected; would greatly appreciate confirmation in this respect;

  3. Trusts that at the same time the authorities, in line with their obligations, are doing everything possible to identify and bring to trial the perpetrators of the threats; would greatly appreciate information on this point;

  4. 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; trusts that the parliamentary authorities are taking appropriate action to help ensure that the required protection for Mr. Borja is put in place without delay and that due justice is done in his case; and would greatly appreciate confirmation of this;

  5. Wishes to ascertainwhat progress has been made to locate and prosecute the five presumed perpetrators of the attempt on Mr. Borja's life who remain at large;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to seek the requested information and to contact the competent 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 119th Assembly of the IPU (Geneva, October 2008).
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