Imaginaction will join the Colombia Peace project and Witness for Peace on this action. Please read the letter below for more information on the project and details on how to participate.
COLOMBIA PEACE PROJECT
Dear Friends, Each year in April, a number of national human rights organizations sponsor a series of events referred to as the Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia. This year the actions revolve around the issue of Colombia’s displaced. Colombia has the second highest number of internally displaced persons in the world, after Sudan.
Forty displaced persons in Colombia have made their portraits available for this project. The idea is for people in the United States to write letters to President Obama on papers containing one of those portraits. There are various ways of doing this. In some cases, the photo takes up most of the page and people write above, below, and around the photo or paste it on a larger sheet of paper.
The portraits and letters will then be displayed at various events around the country. Then they will all be sent to Washington DC for a large display. After that they will be presented to somebody in the Obama administration.
Attached is one of the portraits to this message. It is a picture of Enrique Petro. We met him in our delegation to the Curvarado region last July and expect to meet him again this July. Perhaps more than anyone else, he led the effort of displaced persons in that region to return and establish a foothold by creating humanitarian zones. Please print out the page with his picture: LINK Then write your own short letter to President Obama.
Here are some points that can be made:
. End the aerial fumigation of fields in Colombia.
. Do not promote the so-called free-trade agreement with Colombia.
. End U.S. military involvement in Colombia. This means ending the military aid and reversing the policy of establishing a U.S. presence in Colombian military bases.
. Support reform and strengthening of Colombia’s judiciary.
. Support the return of land to the small farmers from whom it has been stolen.
. Provide Colombian courts and families of victims with access to paramilitary death squad leaders who have been extradited to the U.S. on narcotics charges. This issue is important to our Colombian friends. Paramilitary leaders who demobilized were beginning to confess their human rights atrocities, implicate others, and tell where victims were buried. Then many of them were extradited to the U.S. and much of the truth-telling ended.
Please send your letters with the pictures to:
Witness for Peace Southwest Regional Organizer
10432 Amigo Avenue Northridge, CA 91320
Please try to send your pictures and letters to arrive before April 18. On that day there will be a couple actions in the Los Angeles area using displays of the pictures and letters.
For more information, pictures, and additional action look at the Witness for Peace web site, www.witnessforpeace.org
And consider joining our July 5-15 delegation to Colombia.