COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: Contact U.S. Representatives on Appropriations Committee immediately, other Representatives in next two

CPTnet
11 June 2007
COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: Contact U.S. Representatives on
Appropriations Committee immediately, other Representatives in next two
weeks regarding new Colombia aid bill

[Note: The suggestions for contacting legislators come from the Latin
American Working Group in Washington, DC, to which CPT belongs.]

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering a bill will
divert U.S. aid from supporting the Colombian military to organizations
working for community and social development. We, the members of Christian
Peacemaker Teams in Colombia, consider the proposed changes in U.S. foreign
policy towards Colombia a real and significant step towards a policy that
truly promotes the Reign of God--God's will being done in Colombia and in
the United States of America as it is in heaven. Passage of the bill would
be significant step away from destructive and counter productive military
aid that only perpetuates conflict.

Your interventions at this time can help ensure that these changes are
adapted. The following suggestions from the Latin American Working Group
describe how you can most effectively convince congress to adapt these
changes:

1. If your representative is on the House Appropriations Committee (click
here: http://appropriations.house.gov/members110th.shtml .) Call today, or
before the bill goes to the committee June 12. Let him/her know that you
support the new direction in aid to Colombia in the foreign aid bill. Tell
him/her that you support the bill's changes, which include less aid for the
military and for fumigation and more aid *for victims of the conflict *for
farmers to switch away from drug production *for rural development *for
supporting the rule of law and less military aid and fumigation

2. If your representative is not on the committee, tell them the same thing,
but you have more time. Call in the next two to three weeks, before the
bill goes to the floor. The number for the Capitol Switchboard is
202-224-3121.

3. When you contact your representative, also ask them to cosponsor H. Res.
426 to recognize 2007 as the Year of the Rights of Internally Displaced
Persons in Colombia.

List of cosponsors:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:HE00426:@@@P

To see the text of the resolution, go to
http://www.lawg.org/docs/yr_idp_res.pdf

Rep. Nita Lowey, chair of the House Foreign Operations Appropriations
Subcommittee deserves special appreciation for attempting to change U.S.
policy toward Colombia. Send a thank you to The Honorable Nita Lowey, U.S.
House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515.

4. And then, tell your senators you would like them to support this new
direction. Go to http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

The Washington Office on Latin America is also encouraging people to write
letters to their local papers. A sample letter may be found at
http://www.lawg.org/countries/colombia/letter_to_editor_colombia.htm

For more information on coca production in Colombia, go to
http://www.wola.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=viewp&id=447&Itemid=8

See also http://www.lawg.org/countries/colombia/yr_idp_alert.htm