Colombia: Support the Dispossessed

 

CPT-Colombia witnesses the impact of sexual violence and loss of culture in most of the communities we accompany.  Recently, the U.S. Office on Colombia, a coalition  of which CPT is a part, issued an urgent action asking constituents to support Resolution 1224, now circulating in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would address these concerns.  

Background

While armed groups have displaced around 10% of Colombia’s population, women, Afro-Colombian, and indigenous communities have been disproportionately affected.  Armed groups attack and rape women IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) with impunity.  They rip Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities from their ancestral lands, causing people to lose central aspects of their culture.  

The Colombian Constitutional Court has worked tirelessly to correct this troubling situation, declaring in 2004 a State of Unconstitutional Affairs and ordering the Colombian government to address the needs and rights of displaced populations. 

Following that ruling, the Court produced a series of orders regarding the situation of women, Afro-Colombian and Indigenous IDPs and called on the Colombian government to create public policies that specifically address the different traumas of the most vulnerable sectors of the IDP population.  Sadly, the Colombian government has yet to comply with the vast majority of these judgements. 

Representative Hank Johnson of Georgia and 22 other U.S. Representatives are sponsoring Resolution 1224 to mobilize U.S. government support for the work of the Colombian Constitutional Court and to urge the Colombian government to comply with the Court’s rulings.  We need the help of U.S. citizens to ensure the success of this very important resolution.

Urgent Action (for U.S. Citizens)
Ask your U.S. Representative to co-sponsor House Resolution 1224 addressing sexual violence and loss of culture in displaced communities.  This link will walk you through the process: http://goo.gl/7iQu