Date: Nov 21, 2019
Authors: Antonio Saadipour Sellés, Lisa Haugaard
Today, Colombians from all walks of life are uniting behind a call for their government to meet the demands of the people for peace and a decent life. Marchers from every corner of the country are rallying together to protest everything from the killings of rural women, indigenous people, and social leaders to government corruption, harsh labor and pension reforms, underfunded public education, the killing of children in an army bombing attack, and the half-hearted implementation of the historic 2016 peace accords.
The call to action has united Colombian unions—with over one million members—along with student groups, members of Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities, Defendamos la Paz, women’s movements, churches, progressive and moderate political leaders, and environmental organizations. Some politicians are attempting to invalidate the justified discontent and reasonable demands of the people taking to the streets by painting the demonstration as an opportunity to destabilize the country. But we know this is not the case.
Two days ago, Carlos Holmes Trujillo—Colombia’s new Minister of Defense—issued a statement assuring the public that despite the presence of military on the streets the military would return to the barracks on the day of the protests. Yet many still fear that the protest will meet with repression.
We must show Colombians that we are listening—even when their government refuses to. President Ivan Duque owes it to the Colombian people to stop trying to back track on the country’s last hope for a stable and lasting peace. And we owe it to them to call on the U.S. government to support the rights of Colombians gathering in peaceful protest to demand the government obey the will of the people.
Show your support for Colombians demanding justice and peace by tweeting using the hashtags of the event: #RazonesParaMarchar #
Here are some sample tweets to get you going:
The U.S. @StateDept and members of Congress should join in calling on the Colombian government to protect human rights defenders and fully and faithfully implement the peace accords. #ParoNacional21Nov
The peace accords were signed 3yrs ago, but the murders of social activists and Afro-Colombian and indigenous community leaders continue at a staggering rate. President #IvanDuque must deliver on the promises made by the gov’t and protect the most vulnerable. #RazonesParaMarchar
Share photos on social media holding up signs with the aforementioned hashtags. The Duque Administration needs to see that we are paying attention!
International civil society groups released a statement addressing the reasons for the march and expressing support for the demands of the protesters. Read the press release and statement here:
- We Stand with Colombian Civil Society Protesting the Duque Administration’s Rollbacks on Labor, Human Rights, and Peace—and the Bombing of Children
Thank you for all you do to support every Colombian’s right to exercise one of their most basic democratic freedoms as they come together to fight for a future in which peace, dignity, and equality are no longer just dreams!
Lisa and Antonio for the LAWG Team—Lisa, Daniella, Mavis, Lauri, and Antonio