en English

URGENT: Before Santos’ Visit, Tell Congress to Sign Letter in Support of Peace & Protection for Defenders in Colombia

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Author: Angelika Albaladejo

After more than 50 years of war, Colombia can finally see peace on the horizon. But, peace isn’t guaranteed with the signing of a peace agreement; true peace with truth, justice, and reparations will take years of work. Following 15 years of military-focused assistance through Plan Colombia, it’s time to ensure that the U.S. government will support peace and that the human rights violations seen during the conflict won’t continue as the potential peace accords are implemented.

Obama and Santos                     President Juan Manuel Santos and President Barack Obama
                           shake hands at a 2010 meeting in New York.
                           Photo credit: Reuters

Next week, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will arrive in Washington DC for a White House visit with President Barack Obama. President Obama has already come out in support for the peace process and has suggested that U.S.-Colombia “collaboration” will continue through peace implementation. Now is the time to further encourage support for the peace process and peace implementation, express our concerns about rising attacks against civil society, and emphasize the importance of investigating crimes committed by all sides during the war, including the Colombian military.

Representative James McGovern (D-MA) is circulating a letter to President Barack Obama ahead of Colombian President Santos’ visit next week.

This letter is “time urgent” because President Santos will be visiting the White House on February 3, 2016. Your representatives only have until Monday, February 1st, to sign on. 
Will you help us flood your representative’s inbox with requests to sign this important letter?

The letter encourages U.S. support for the peace process and the implementation of peace should an agreement be signed. It also urges President Obama to continue to raise with President Santos concerns about the protection of human rights defenders, labor activists, community leaders, journalists, and Afro-Colombian and indigenous leaders against whom attacks and murders have increased. In addition, the letter encourages President Obama to support the Colombian justice system in the investigation of crimes, including extrajudicial killings by the military.

Can you take a moment to call or email your representative and tell them to sign this important letter of support for true peace in Colombia? Click here to use our quick and easy email form!




The following representatives have already signed on to the letter: James P. McGovern (MA), Sam Farr (CA), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ), Jared Polis (CO), Alcee L. Hastings (FL), Peter A. DeFazio (OR), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA), Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL), John Lewis (GA), Marcy Kaptur (OH), Steve Cohen (TN), Dina Titus (NY), John A. Yarmuth (KY), Charles B. Rangel (NY), Barbara Lee (CA), John Conyers, Jr. (MI), Alan Grayson (FL), William R. Keating (MA), Tony Cárdenas (CA), Maxine Waters (CA), Jim McDermott (WA), Earl Blumenauer (OR), Debbie Dingell (MI), Mark DeSaulnier (CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL), Paul D. Tonko (NY), Janice D. Schakowsky (IL), John B. Larson (CT), Alan S. Lowenthal (CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Michael M. Honda (CA), Stephen F. Lynch (MA), Karen Bass (CA), Yvette D. Clarke (NY), David N. Cicilline (RI), and Joe Pitts (KY).

If your representative has signed, thank him or her! If not, take action now!

Because of the short turn around, we encourage you to call your representative’s office and ask to speak with their foreign policy aide. To call or email your representatives directly, look up your Representative here to find their phone number or email address. Or use our quick and easy email form here. Here’s a sample email to get you started, please feel free to edit:

Dear Representative [add representative’s name here],

As a concerned constituent, I am writing to ask you to sign on to a Dear Colleague letter to President Barack Obama being circulated by Representative Jim McGovern ahead of the visit by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos next week. The letter urges U.S. support for the Colombian peace process, as well as concrete support for the implementation of peace should an agreement be signed.

At this critical moment in the peace process, as the March deadline for signing the peace accord approaches, the letter also urges President Obama to continue to raise with President Santos concerns about the protection of human rights defenders, labor activists, community leaders, journalists, and Afro-Colombian and indigenous leaders against whom attacks and murders have increased. In addition, the letter encourages support for the Colombian justice system in the investigation of crimes, including extrajudicial killings by the military.

Colombia is on the brink of peace after more than five decades of war and countless lives lost. I ask that you sign onto this crucial letter of support for peace and justice in Colombia by contacting Cindy Buhl (Rep. McGovern) at cindy.buhl@mail.house.gov by COB, Monday, February 1.

Sincerely,
[add your name here]