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ACTION ALERT: Support the Peace Process and Demobilization in Colombia


September 26, 2007
The Mercy Corps

The House passed a foreign-assistance bill that takes a significant step toward improving US aid to Colombia by better balancing military aid with social and economic assistance vital to helping 3.8 million Colombians — los desplazados — who were forced off their lands by Colombia's long-running conflict. The Senate is now considering a similar bill that includes includes $15 million for economic-development activities benefiting Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/139584750?z00m=9973497

Support the Peace Process and Demobilization in Colombia

The US tends to think that if we send big men and women with uniforms and guns to a country, that their problems will be solved.

Reality check. That doesn't actually accomplish anything, and it in fact increases instances of human rights violations by promoting violence and force.

We, the Undersigned, endorse the following petition:
Tell the Senate to pass a humanitarian aid bill for Colombia

The bill in front of the Senate today includes a large increase in humanitarian aid — aid to help Colombians who were displaced, strengthen the judicial system, invest in rural development and help farmers turn away from growing coca, the main ingredient in cocaine.

This shift in focus away from military aid is a valuable step for the US, Colombia and the world.

Help Mercy Corps persuade the Senate to support this much-needed new approach to Colombian aid!

On June 21, Congress gave José and his younger brother, Edward, good reason to smile.

The House passed a foreign-assistance bill that takes a significant step toward improving US aid to Colombia by better balancing military aid with social and economic assistance vital to helping 3.8 million Colombians — los desplazados — who were forced off their lands by Colombia's long-running conflict.

The bill includes a large increase in humanitarian aid — aid to help Colombians displaced as a result of conflict, strengthen the judicial system, invest in rural development and help farmers turn away from growing coca, the main ingredient in cocaine.

Specifically, this bill:

• shifts funding from 76 percent military and police aid and 24 percent development aid to a more balanced 55-45 split;

• increases support to strengthen the rule of law, including to establish a victims' protection program, provide legal representation for victims, and to implement the paramilitary demobilization law; and

• includes $15 million for economic-development activities benefiting Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities.

Mercy Corps joined dozens of other groups asking Congress to reorient US aid policy. We've taken a critical step forward — but our work is not finished.

Soon, the US Senate will take up the foreign-assistance bill and consider the question of how best to aid Colombia. Help us persuade the Senate to do the right thing and endorse this new approach to US aid to Colombia!

Support the Peace Process and
Demobilization in Colombia

Dear Senators,

Fighting in Colombia among left-wing guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries, drug traffickers and the army has helped to create the largest population of internally displaced people outside Sudan — nearly four million, and growing.

The previous Colombian aid package, Plan Colombia, has not slowed this escalating humanitarian crisis. The foreign-assistance bill recently passed by the House of Representatives gives us a historic chance to change course.

The House bill takes a significant step toward improving US aid to Colombia by better balancing military aid with social and economic assistance vital to helping 3.8 million Colombians — los desplazados — forced off their lands by Colombia's long-running conflict. It includes a large increase in humanitarian aid — aid to help Colombians displaced as a result of conflict, strengthen the judicial system, invest in rural development and help farmers turn away from growing coca, the main ingredient in cocaine.

We believe the House foreign-assistance bill makes important improvements to US aid to Colombia. We urge you to help renew the hope for peace in Colombia and its 3.8 million desplazados by voting for these vital changes.

[Your Comment]
Thank you,
Signed

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