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Thursday, 10 March 2005
Page: 4


Senator BARTLETT (9:36 AM) —by leave—At the request of Senator Stott Despoja, I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a)   notes:

(i)   the extensive history of violence directed towards human rights defenders and non-violent activists in Colombia,

(ii)   that Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits violence against civilians in the context of armed conflict that occurs within the borders of a sovereign state and is not of an international character, and

(iii)   recognises the importance of human rights and peace work in the current situation in Colombia;

(b)   recalls its resolution of 4 August 2004, in which it expressed its ‘hope that the Colombian Government will guarantee the safety of the people of San José de Apartadó, and of the international observers who accompany them’;

(c)   expresses grave concern following the death of Luis Eduardo Guerra, leader of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, his partner and child, in a massacre of eight people in the Department of Antioquia, Colombia;

(d)   notes that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has strongly condemned these murders and called on Colombian authorities to prosecute those responsible; and

(e)   calls on the Colombian Government to:

(i)   formulate and make known to the international community a plan of action to prevent any further violations of the rights of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó,

(ii)   undertake an exhaustive and impartial investigation to ascertain all the relevant facts and bring to justice those responsible for the murders,

(iii)   guarantee the Peace Community’s right to a non-violent ‘Project of Life’ allowing them to remain outside the conflict, without suffering smears, threats or attacks because of this decision.

Question agreed to.