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Human rights cases

Pedro Nel Jiménez Obando, Colombia

Pedro Nel Jiménez Obando was one of a string of Colombian MPs murdered in a bloody period in the country’s history in the 1980s and 90s. No one has been brought to justice.

Pedro Nel Jiménez Obando was shot dead in 1986 as he went to pick up his daughter from primary school in the Colombian city of Villavicencio. Two men on a motorcycle opened fire, hitting him several times.

The attack was just one in a murderous string of assaults against MPs from his Patriotic Union party which lasted well into the 1990s.

Most were probably carried out by right-wing paramilitary groups opposed to the Patriotic Union, alleging it had ties with the left-wing FARC rebels. But a complex mix of drugs cartels, branches of the state and military, and other people with land or business interests were all implicated in the era of violence.

By the time the worst of the violence abated, more than a dozen MPs from Pedro Nel Jiménez Obando's party had died—including a presidential candidate—and another had been forced into exile after receiving death threats. Around 3,000 other party members and officials are also thought to have been killed.

IPU has raised concerns about at least six Patriotic Union MPs who were killed: Pedro Nel Jiménez Obando, Leonardo Posada Pedraza, Octavio Vargas Cuéllar, Pedro Luis Valencia Giraldo, Bernardo Jaramillo Ossa and Manuel Cepeda Vargas.

It has also highlighted the death threats against a seventh MP, Hernán Motta Motta, which forced him into exile in October 1997.

None of the perpetrators has been caught, and IPU believes further investigation is needed to bring those responsible for the murders and death threats to justice.