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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 192nd session
(Quito, 27 March 2013)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento, a member of the Colombian Senate and the New Liberalism party’s candidate in the presidential elections, who was murdered at a political rally on 18 August 1989 in the main square of Soacha municipality, Cundinamarca department, and to the resolution it adopted at its 190th session (April 2012),

Taking into account the information provided by the competent authorities to Senator Juan Pablo Letelier, Vice-President of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, during his visit to Colombia on 20 and 21 March 2013,

Recalling the following information on file:

  • Lieutenant Carlos Humberto Flores, from Military Intelligence B2, was tried for complicity in the murder and acquitted at first and second instance; a cassation petition filed by the Prosecutor’s Office and Senator Galán’s family, as the civil party to the proceedings, remains pending before the Supreme Court, with the Procuradoría having yet to submit its observations;

  • On 1 September 2011, the Supreme Court upheld the first-instance verdict whereby Mr. Santofimio, a politician from Tolima, was sentenced to a 24‑year prison term for having incited drug baron Pablo Escobar to have Senator Galán killed in order to prevent the latter, if elected President of Colombia, from acting on his intention to extradite drug traffickers to the United States of America;

  • On 18 August 2009, the Prosecutor’s Office arrested General Miguel Maza Márquez, a former Director of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS), on accusations of involvement in Senator Galán’s murder, and declared the murder a crime against humanity; on 6 April 2010, the then Chief Prosecutor ordered General Maza’s provisional release; however, General Maza was called to trial on 25 November 2010 and rearrested on 15 January 2011; on 1 June 2011, the prosecutor in the case confirmed the indictment against General Maza, arguing that there was substantive evidence that he was responsible for the murder; trial proceedings started on 10 October 2011, at which time the judge in the case, the First Specialized Judge of Bogotá, confirmed that Senator Galán’s murder was a crime against humanity; the Supreme Court annulled the proceedings against General Maza on 20 January 2012 on the grounds that he was entitled to privilege of jurisdiction and that his case should therefore have been referred directly to Colombia’s Chief Prosecutor; General Maza was released as a result and the proceedings started afresh;

  • On 25 November 2009, the Procuradoría, who had formed a special team to conduct the investigation into the murder, requested the Prosecutor’s Office to extend the investigation to retired General Oscar Peláez Carmona, who was the Head of the Criminal Investigation Department at the time and had allegedly acted in complicity with General Maza in misleading and obstructing the original investigation; in March 2010, the Procuradoría also asked the Prosecutor’s Office to extend the investigation to Mr. Alberto Romero, former DAS intelligence chief, Colonel Manuel Antonio González Henríquez, who had served as DAS protection chief, former paramilitary leader Iván Roberto Duque Gaviria, alias “Ernesto Báez”, and Captain Luis Felipe Montilla Barbosa, Soacha Police Commander; on 26 August 2011, the source stated that the Prosecutor’s Office had not yet formally responded to the Procurador’s requests to link those individuals to the investigation,
Considering that, according to information provided on 22 March 2013 by the source, the Prosecutor's Office ordered the preventive detention of Colonel González Henríquez and Captain Montilla on 10 March 2013 and the two men were subsequently taken into custody,

Considering further that, according to the latest information provided by the source, the Prosecutor General was in the process of deciding whether or not to order General Maza’s preventive detention,

Considering finally that both the Office of the Chief Prosecutor and the Procuradoría reconfirmed, on the occasion of the Committee Vice-President’s visit to Colombia, that the pursuit of justice in this case was a priority for them,

  1. Thanks the competent Colombian authorities for their cooperation and for receiving the Committee’s Vice-President;

  2. Takes note with interest of the recent detention of two presumed culprits in the case; wishes to ascertain whether they have been formally charged and, if so, when trial proceedings are expected to begin; eagerly awaits the decision of the Prosecutor's Office with respect to General Maza;

  3. Trusts the Prosecutor's Office will soon decide whether or not to extend the investigation to the others who have been identified by the Procuradoría as potentially responsible for the murder;

  4. Sincerely hopes that the Procuradoría will submit without any further delay its views to the Supreme Court in the cassation petition regarding the alleged role of Lieutenant Flores in the crime, so that the Court can finally rule on this matter;

  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 to report back to it in due course.
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