Inter-Parliamentary Union  
Chemin du Pommier 5, C.P. 330, CH-1218 Le Grand-Saconnex/Geneva, Switzerland  


Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 194th session
(Geneva, 20 March 2014)

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 192nd session (March 2013),

Taking into consideration the communication of the Prosecutor’s Office dated 19 February 2014; also taking into consideration the information provided by the source in February and March 2014,

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, on 11 August 2011, at 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;

  • 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 Procuraduría, which had created 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 Procuraduría 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 10 March 2013, the Prosecutor's Office ordered the preventive detention of Colonel González Henríquez and Captain Montilla Barbosa, after which they were taken into custody,
Recalling that both the Office of the Chief Prosecutor and the Procuraduría reconfirmed, on the occasion of the visit to Colombia (March 2013) by the then Committee Vice-President, Senator Juan Pablo Letelier, that the pursuit of justice in this case was a priority for them; considering that, according to the latest information provided by the Prosecutor’s Office, it has set up nine internal working groups to analyse the context in which certain crimes were committed, one of which focuses on the assassinations of presidential candidates between 1989 and 1991,

Considering that in November 2013, upon the order of the current Chief Prosecutor, General Maza was taken into preventive detention, a decision which the Supreme Court confirmed in February 2014 in the light of the serious information pointing to his responsibility and the likelihood that he may divert the investigation,

Considering that the formal accusations which the Prosecutor’s Office made against Colonel González Henríquez and Captain Montilla Barbosa were the subject of an appeal by their defence counsel, which is pending,

Considering finally that, according to a communication from the source dated 11 February 2014, with regard to the cassation petition before the Supreme Court regarding the alleged complicity in the murder of Lieutenant Carlos Humberto Flores from Military Intelligence B2, the matter had still not been resolved, as the Procuraduría had not yet submitted its views,

  1. Thanks the Prosecutor’s Office for the latest information provided;

  2. Is pleased that it continues to devote special attention to promoting justice in this case;

  3. Takes note with interest of General Maza’s second re-arrest, including the justification given thereof; trusts that this time legal proceedings will be able to follow their course and wishes to be kept informed in this regard; trusts also that the appeal regarding Colonel González Henríquez and Captain Montilla will be dealt with swiftly and wishes to be kept abreast on this point;

  4. Wishes to know whether the Prosecutor's Office has examined the question of whether or not to extend the investigation to the others identified by the Procuraduría as potentially responsible for the murder;

  5. Is deeply concerned that the cassation petition before the Supreme Court has still not been dealt with; recalls the fundamental principle that justice delayed is justice denied; and calls on the Procuraduría to submit without delay its views to the Supreme Court so that it can finally rule on this matter;

  6. Considers that a follow-up visit to Colombia by a Committee delegation would help to further its understanding of the current state of the pursuit of justice in this case and of how pending issues are being addressed; requests the Secretary General, therefore, to make the necessary arrangements for this purpose;

  7. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the competent authorities, the source and any third party likely to be in a position to supply relevant information;

  8. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and to report back to it in due course.

Note: you can download a complete electronic version of the brochure "Results of the 130th Assembly and related meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union" in PDF format (file size 878 Kb). This version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download free of charge.Get Acrobat Reader