13 February 2003
OAS Condemns February 7 FARC Bombing in Colombia
(Also supports Colombian efforts to combat illegal armed groups)
The Organization of American States (OAS) has condemned the February 7
bombing by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) of a
Colombian nightclub as a "despicable terrorist attack."
The OAS Permanent Council said in a February 12 resolution that it
pledged its cooperation in "pursuing, capturing, prosecuting,
punishing, and when appropriate, expediting the extradition of the
perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of the attack" on the nightclub
The OAS issued what it called "its most vehement rejection and
condemnation of the numerous terrorist acts perpetrated by armed
groups in Colombia operating outside the law." The U.S. State
Department has designated the FARC as a terrorist organization.
Terrorist attacks on the civilian population, "regardless of their
origin or motivation, have no possible justification and constitute a
serious criminal phenomenon," the OAS said, adding that terrorism
"attacks democracy, impedes the enjoyment of human rights and
fundamental freedoms, [and] threatens the security of states."
President Bush said February 8 that the Bogota bombing constituted a
"barbaric act of terrorism." On behalf of the United States, Bush
offered "our deepest condolences" to the families of the victims. More
than 30 people were killed and at least 162 people were injured in the
Following is the text of the OAS resolution:
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
CP/RES. 837 (1354/03)
12 February 2003
CP/RES. 837 (1354/03)
CONDEMNATION OF TERRORIST ACTS IN COLOMBIA
THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES,
REAFFIRMING the principles and provisions set forth in the Charter of
the Organization of American States and the Charter of the United
Nations, which enshrine the values of representative democracy and the
essential freedoms of the human person;
EMPHASIZING that terrorism and attacks on the civilian population,
regardless of their origin or motivation, have no possible
justification and constitute a serious criminal phenomenon that is of
deep concern to all the member states, attacks democracy, impedes the
enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and threatens the
security of states, destabilizing and undermining the foundations of
all society and seriously impacts the economic and social development
of the states in the region;
REAFFIRMING, in accordance with the Declaration of San Salvador, that
terrorism is a threat to the security and stability of states and the
development of peoples and that the links that often exist between
terrorism, illicit trafficking in drugs, the laundering of assets,
illicit trafficking in arms, and other forms of transnational
organized crime aggravate this threat and are used by terrorist groups
to finance and support their activities, which call for stronger
measures to prevent and suppress them;
UNDERSCORING the need to make use of existing mechanisms and legal
instruments within the Organization of American States for cooperation
in fighting terrorism;
EMPHASIZING that, as in accordance with what is enshrined in the
Inter-American Democratic Charter, no democratic state can remain
indifferent to the clear threat terrorism poses to democratic freedoms
HAVING TAKEN NOTE of the Declaration of Panama, issued in Panama City
on February 11, 2003, by the Presidents of Panama, Costa Rica, El
Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua and by the Minister of
Foreign Affairs of Argentina; and
HAVING HEARD the statement by the Vice President of Colombia, Mr.
1. To issue its most vehement rejection and condemnation of the
numerous terrorist acts perpetrated by armed groups in Colombia
operating outside the law.
2. To express its profound repudiation of the despicable terrorist
attack carried out by the FARC on February 7, 2003, in Bogotá and to
pledge its cooperation in pursuing, capturing, prosecuting, punishing,
and, when appropriate, expediting the extradition of the perpetrators,
organizers, and sponsors of this act, in accordance with the internal
legal framework of States and international treaties.
3. To express its full solidarity with the people of Colombia and to
offer its condolences to the families of the victims.
4. To support the efforts of the President of Colombia, Mr. Álvaro
Uribe Vélez, his Government, and the Colombian people to combat
terrorism within the context of the rule of law.
5. To ratify the commitment of the member states to step up actions
for the strict observance of the provisions of United Nations Security
Council resolution 1373 and the Inter-American Convention Against
Terrorism concerning the obligation to refrain from providing any form
of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts.
6. To reaffirm the unwavering commitment of the member states to deny
refuge and/or safe haven to those who finance, plan, or commit acts of
terrorism in Colombia or who lend support to such persons, noting that
those responsible for aiding, supporting, or harboring the
perpetrators, organizers, and sponsors of these acts are equally
7. To apply the antiterrorism mechanisms of the Organization of
American States; and, in particular, in the context of the
Inter-American Convention against Terrorism and the Inter-American
Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), to adopt the necessary measures
to intensify information exchange on the activities of terrorist
groups, to reinforce border controls to prevent the movement of
terrorists, and to suppress the funding of such groups.
8. To urge the member states to adopt, in accordance with their
national law, urgent measures to strengthen regional and international
cooperation in pursuing, capturing, and punishing the perpetrators,
organizers, and sponsors of terrorist acts, including, as applicable,
the signature and ratification of, and accession to, the
Inter-American Convention against Terrorism and other international
instruments on terrorism.
9. To request the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to
continue to pay special attention to the negative impact acts of
terrorism have on the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental
freedoms in Colombia.
10. To strengthen the cooperation measures envisioned in the Anti-Drug
Strategy in the Hemisphere and in instruments such as the Multilateral
Evaluation Mechanism; and to intensify the activities and programs of
the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).
11. To urge the Consultative Committee of the Inter-American
Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in
Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA)
consider adopting the necessary additional measures to prevent,
control, and suppress illicit trafficking in arms, ammunition, and
explosives to armed groups operating outside the law on the American
12. To reiterate its unequivocal support for the efforts of the
Government of Colombia to find a firm and lasting peace in that
13. To request the Chair of the Permanent Council to transmit the text
of this resolution, for information purposes, to the International
Organizations that he deems appropriate.
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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