The delegation will be led by Mexican Senator Rosario Green, president of the UIP‘s Human Rights Commission. The team will visit Colombia from October 9-12 to investigate the murders of six members of Colombia’s Congress and Senate; Pedro Nel Jimenez, Leonardo Posada, Octavio Vargas, Pedro Luis Valencia, Bernardo Jaramillo, and Manuel Cepeda, as well as threats which forced Hernan Motta into exile in 1997.
“The committee [of the UIP] considers the the current political situation in Colombia favorable to the opportunity to advance the investigations of the different and complex cases that we’re examining in this country,” Green said.
The senator explained that in Bogota the delegation will meet with the authorities, as well as with victims and their families, and investigate the protection offered to those involved in the investigation who have received threats. Green called on Colombian authorities to collaborate in order to ensure justice for the victims.
The Patriotic Union (UP) was a Colombian political party formed in 1985 by the FARC guerrilla group, along with other left-wing organizations. Some 3,000 of the party’s members were murdered over the next few years, including congress members and the UP’s presidential candidate, and the party had ceased to exist by 2002.
The murders were blamed on drug traffickers and paramilitaries, who were allegedly aided by members of the security forces.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in June asked the Colombian government to apologise and pay compensation for the 1994 murder of UP Senator Manuel Cepeda, stating that there is evidence that the murder was the result of a joint operation between the army and paramilitary groups.