COLOMBIA PETITION: SIGN NOW! Ask Obama to Support Policy for a Just and Peaceful end to the Colombian Conflict


12 May 2015
COLOMBIA PETITION: SIGN NOW! Ask Obama to Support Policy for
a Just and Peaceful end to the Colombian Conflict


Days of Prayer and Action 2015 Petition


For the 2015 Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia, advocates are encouraged to sign this petition which will be shared with President Obama and members of Congress:




Dear President Obama and Members of Congress:


For over fifty years, Colombia has been engaged in an
internal armed conflict that has left millions of victims and a country
yearning for peace. Colombians have suffered through unspeakable violence,
forced displacements, kidnappings, widespread massacres, threats against
unionists and human rights activists, and the social exclusion of indigenous,
Afro-descendant, and rural communities. As part of the National Days of Prayer
and Action for Colombia, we applaud our government’s support of the peace process
in Colombia and we gather with one message in mind: Tomorrow’s Peace Starts
Today. For the Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia on May 15-18, activists
around the country are gathering to advocate for U.S. policies that will work
with Colombians to end the armed conflict and support a durable peace. We
advocate for U.S. policy that will:

• Support a bilateral ceasefire and a commitment from all
parties to respect international humanitarian law even as negotiations proceed
so as to protect the civilian populations still caught in the crossfire,
especially the most vulnerable—Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, women
and children, and farmers in rural areas.

• Ensure that all assistance is carefully directed to
support peace. Instead of military aid, assistance should be transformed to
support peace accord implementation, address humanitarian needs, and strengthen
civilian institutions.

• Refocus counter-drug policy to prioritize alternative and
sustainable development policies with input from small farmers.

• Call on the Colombian government to provide protection for
human rights defenders and rural communities now and after peace is negotiated.
The United States must press the Colombian government to denounce the
increasing number of threats and attacks against victims’ representatives, land
rights leaders, faith leaders, human rights defenders, Afro-Colombian and
indigenous leaders, and peace advocates.

• Press for the establishment of an independent truth
commission to find and reveal the full truth about who implemented, ordered,
financed and promoted the human rights violations and violence against the
civilian population.

• Reaffirm the role of victims’ associations, faith
organizations, and civil society organizations in constructing peace. These
organizations can and should play a vital role in implementing and monitoring
peace accords, advancing reconciliation, assisting victims to rebuild their
lives, reintegrating former combatants and rebuilding the societal fabric that
war has torn asunder.

Our diverse beliefs, faith traditions and civic commitments
compel us to speak at this critical juncture. U.S. support is crucial for
addressing the displacement crisis, supporting victims of violence, providing
diplomatic support and protecting those working for peace as Colombia navigates
through this historic moment. We cannot simply wait for the ink to dry on a
signed peace agreement. The foundation for peace must begin today, paving the
way for a successful transition after the accords are signed. Colombians
deserve a chance for peace. Now is the time for U.S. policy that promotes a
peaceful and just end to this decades-long conflict. We urge you to rise to
meet this challenge.



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