Your Voice Counts!
National Day of Action for Colombia
April 20, 2009
Since 2000, the US has spent over $6 billion on mostly military aid to Colombia in support of the war on drugs and the war on terrorism. Two and one-half million Colombians have been displaced during that time. U.S. military aid has been used to buy helicopters and weaponry, to fumigate coca plantations and to train Colombian soldiers who have, in turn, killed innocent civilians and then presented them as guerrillas killed in combat. While it is impossible to estimate exactly how many people have been displaced as a direct result of U.S. military aid, it is known that fumigations and assassinations are reasons enough to make civilians leave their homes and search for safety elsewhere.
The White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy found that despite $5.4 billion in Plan Colombia aid, nearly twice as much coca was planted in 2007 as in 2000, the year Plan Colombia began. Plan Colombia has failed to decrease the coca crops but has destroyed small farmers’ crops meant to feed their families and use as a source of livelihood. Colombia has more than 4 million internally displaced people – the largest displaced population in the world.
Information adapted from “Halt the Crisis! Colombia Cries for Change,” Witness for Peace: Displacement Fact Sheet
What You Can Do To Help:
- Pray intercessions:
For a country which has been ravaged by war, death and violence for many decade… Holy Spirit, bring peace and justice.
For poor farmers and their families trying to survive…Holy Spirit…
For the U.S. government that its policies would focus on social and economic renewal, instead of military-focused solutions…Holy Spirit…
- Telephone Obama’s office on April 20th urging him to chart a new policy for Colombia - 202-456-1414
- Visit www.witnessforpeace.org/peaceincolmbia
to email a message
- Handwrite the following message to fax to President Obama at 202-456-2461
Dear President Obama,
As an advocate for the Common Good, I write to you of my concern for human rights in Colombia. With four million internally displaced people, Colombia is home to the Western Hemisphere’s greatest humanitarian crisis that forces half a million people to flee their own country.
I urge you to act boldly to change U.S. policy in Colombia, beginning by
- Ending all military aid to Colombia
- Using U.S. influence to promote a negotiated end to conflict
- Forging economic relationships that protect and create opportunities for small famers, the rural poor, and endangered workers, rather than passing a free trade agreement capable of pushing Colombia's poor further into poverty.
Thank you for making human rights in Colombia a priority during your presidential administration.