LAW 707 2001
Official Gazette No. 44,632, of December 1, 2001
Through which the "Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons
" made approved in Belem do Para, the nine (9) June 1990
four (1994). Summary
THE CONGRESS OF COLOMBIA
having regard to the text of the "Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons" made in Belém do Pará, the nine (9) June in 1994 (1994), which the letter says:
(to be transliterated: photocopy of the full text of that instrument is attached).
INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION ON FORCED DISAPPEARANCE OF PERSONS
The Member States of the Organization of American States,
Concerned that persistence of the forced disappearance of persons;
Reaffirming that the true significance of American solidarity and good neighborliness can be none other than consolidating in this hemisphere, within the framework of democratic institutions, a system of individual liberty and social justice based on the respect for the essential rights of man;
Whereas the forced disappearance of persons is an affront to the conscience of the Hemisphere and a grave and abominable offense against the inherent dignity of the human person nature, in contradiction with the principles and purposes enshrined in the Charter of the Organization of American States;
Whereas the forced disappearance of persons violates numerous fundamental rights of the human person non-derogable as are enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the Universal Declaration Human Rights;
Recalling that the international protection of human rights is a convention reinforcing or complementing the protection provided by domestic law and is based upon attributes of the human person;
Reaffirming that the systematic practice of enforced disappearance constitutes a crime against humanity;
Hope that this Convention may help to prevent, punish and eliminate the forced disappearance of persons in the Hemisphere and make a decisive contribution to the protection of human rights and the rule of law contribution
RESOLVE to adopt the following Inter-American Convention on Forced disappearance of Persons: Article I.
The States Parties to this Convention undertake:
a) Not to practice, permit, or tolerate the forced disappearance of persons, even in states of emergency or suspension of individual guarantees;
B) To punish within their jurisdiction the perpetrators, accomplices and accessories of the crime of forced disappearance and the attempted commission thereof;
C) cooperate with one another in helping to prevent, punish and eliminate the forced disappearance of persons; and
d) Take appropriate legislative, administrative, judicial or any other measures necessary to meet the commitments made in this Convention.
For the purposes of this Convention, forced disappearance is considered the deprivation of liberty to one or more persons, in whatever way, perpetrated by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by lack of information or refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the whereabouts of the person, which the exercise of legal remedies and procedural guarantees are prevented relevant.
States Parties undertake to adopt, in accordance with their constitutional procedures, the legislative measures necessary to criminalize forced disappearance of persons and to impose an appropriate punishment commensurate with its extreme gravity. This offense shall be deemed continuous or permanent as the fate or whereabouts of the victim has not been determined.
States Parties may establish mitigating circumstances for persons who have participated in acts constituting forced disappearance when they contribute to the appearance of the victim alive or provide information that sheds light on the forced disappearance of a person's circumstances.
The acts constituting the forced disappearance of persons shall be considered offenses in every State Party. Accordingly, each State Party shall take measures to establish its jurisdiction over such cases in the following cases:
A) When the forced disappearance of persons or any of its constituent acts were committed within its jurisdiction;
B) If the accused is a national of that State;
C) When the victim is a national of that State considers it appropriate.
Each State Party shall also take the necessary measures to establish its jurisdiction over the crime described in this Convention when the alleged criminal is within its territory and not proceed to extradite him.
This Convention does not authorize a State Party to undertake in the territory of another State Party the exercise of jurisdiction and performance of functions reserved exclusively for the authorities of the other Party by its domestic law.
The forced disappearance of persons shall not be considered a political offense for purposes of extradition.
Forced disappearance is considered included among the offenses extraditable offenses in any extradition treaty between States Parties.
States Parties undertake to include the offense of enforced disappearance as susceptible extraditable offenses in every extradition treaty to be concluded between them in the future.
Any State Party which makes extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty receives from another State Party with which it has no treaty extradition request may consider this Convention as the legal basis for extradition in respect of the crime of disappearance forced.
States Parties which do not make extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty shall recognize such offense as extraditable, subject to the conditions provided by the law of the requested State.
Extradition shall be subject to the provisions of the constitution and other laws of the State.
When a State Party does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities as if the offense had been committed within its jurisdiction for investigation and, where appropriate, for criminal action, in accordance with its nac ional legislation. The decision adopted by these authorities shall be communicated to the State requesting extradition.
Criminal prosecution for the forced disappearance of persons and the penalty judicially imposed on its perpetrator shall not be subject to prescription.
However, when there is a norm of a fundamental character preventing application of the provisions of the preceding paragraph, the period of limitation shall be equal to the most severe in domestic law, the respective State Party crime.
The defense of due obedience to superior orders or instructions prescribing will not be admitted, authorizing or encouraging enforced disappearance. Any person receiving such orders have the right and duty of obeying them.
States Parties shall ensure that, in the training of staff or public officials responsible for law enforcement, the necessary education on the offense of forced disappearance of persons is imparted.
The alleged perpetrators of the acts constituting the crime of forced disappearance of persons may be tried only by the competent jurisdictions of ordinary law in each State, excluding any special tribunal, in particular military courts.
The acts constituting forced disappearance shall not be deemed committed in the performance of military duties. They
No privileges, immunities or special exemptions shall be admitted in such trials, without prejudice to the provisions contained in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency as a justification for enforced disappearance. In such cases, the right to procedures or rapid, effective judicial recourse shall be retained as a means to determine the whereabouts of persons deprived of liberty or health status or identifying the official who ordered the deprivation of liberty or made effective.
In pursuing such procedures or resources and in accordance with respective national law, the competent judicial authorities shall have free and immediate access to all detention centers and to each of his premises as well as to any place where there is reason to believe that you can find the missing person, including places subject to military jurisdiction.
All persons deprived of liberty shall be held in officially recognized places of detention and brought promptly, in accordance with applicable domestic law, the competent judicial authority.
States Parties shall establish and maintain records of their detainees and, in accordance with its domestic law, shall make them available to relatives, judges, lawyers, anyone with a legitimate interest and other authorities.
States Parties reciprocal cooperation in the search, identification, location and return of minors who have been removed to another state or detained therein as a consequence of the forced disappearance of their parents or guardians will be provided.
For the purposes of this Convention, the processing of petitions or communications presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in which it is alleged forced disappearance of persons shall be subject to the procedures established in the American Convention on Human Rights, and in the Statutes and regulations of the Commission and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, including the provisions on precautionary measures.
Without prejudice to the provisions of the previous article, when the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights receives a petition or communication regarding an alleged forced disappearance will be directed, through its Executive Secretariat shall urgently and confidentially, to the appropriate government asking to provide the earliest possible information on the whereabouts of the allegedly disappeared person other information deemed relevant, the application not prejudge the admissibility of the petition.
None of the provisions of this Convention shall be construed as limiting other bilateral or multilateral treaties or other agreements between the Parties.
This Convention shall not apply to international armed conflicts governed by the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Protocols, concerning protection of wounded, sick and shipwrecked members of armed forces, prisoners and civilians in wartime.
This Convention is open for signature by Member States of the Organization of American States.
This Convention is subject to ratification. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States.
The present Convention shall remain open for accession by any other State. The instruments of accession shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States.
States may make reservations to this Convention at the time of approval, signature, ratification or accession, provided they are not incompatible with the object and purpose of the Convention and relate to one or more specific provisions.
This Convention shall enter into force for the ratifying states on the thirtieth day after the date of deposit of the second instrument of ratification.
For each State ratifying or acceding to it after the deposit of the second instrument of ratification of the Convention, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession .
This Convention shall remain effective indefinitely, but any State Party may denounce it. The instrument of denunciation shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States. After one year from the Date to deposit the instrument of denunciation the Convention shall cease to have effect for the denouncing state and shall remain in force for the other States Parties.
The original instrument of this Convention, the texts in Spanish, French, English and Portuguese languages are equally authentic, it shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States, which shall send a certified copy of your text, for registration and publication, the Secretariat of the United Nations in accordance with Article 102 of the United Nations Charter. The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States shall notify the member States of that Organization and the states that have acceded to the Convention of the signatures, deposits of instruments of ratification, accession and denunciation, and any reservations that I had.
In witness whereof the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized by their respective governments, have signed this Convention, that "Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons" will be called.
Made in the city of Belem do Para, Brazil, on June 9 in 1994. RAMA
PUBLIC POWER EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC
Bogota, DC, October 3, 2000
Approved, submit to the consideration of the honorable National Congress for constitutional purposes.
Andres Pastrana Minister of Foreign Affairs,
(Sgd.) Guillermo Fernandez De Soto. DECREES
ARTICLE 1o. Approval of the "Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons" made in Belem do Para, the nine (9) June in 1994 (1994).
. In accordance with the provisions of article 1. 7a Act. 1944, the "Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons" made in Belem do Para, the nine (9) June in 1994 (1994), that the first article of this law is passed, it will force the country from the date the international link is perfect therefrom.
ARTICLE 3. This law applies from the date of publication.
The President of the honorable Senate,
CARLOS GARCIA ORJUELA.
The Secretary General of the honorable Senate of the Republic, Manuel Enríquez Rosero
The President of the honorable Chamber of Representatives, Guillermo Gaviria
The Secretary General of the honorable House of Representatives, ANGELINO
REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA - NATIONAL GOVERNMENT
COMMUNICATE AND COMPLY.
Run, after review by the Constitutional Court, pursuant to Article 241-10 of the Constitution.
Given in Bogotá, DC, on November 28, 2001.
The Andres Pastrana Foreign Minister,
Guillermo Fernandez de Soto.
The Minister of Justice and Law,
TRUJILLO Romulo Gonzalez.