CPTers accompanying CAMAWARI (an Awá First Nation’s governing body) and its constituent communities in the province of Nariño noted a dramatic increase in violence since CPT's first visit in November and December of 2006. Various armed contenders – guerrillas, paramilitary groups, and Colombian Armed Forces – vie for control of the area.
On April 26, during the Assembly of Governors and Reservations (a powerful manifestation of Awá democracy in which members from all the reserves meet and make decisions for the future of their people), news arrived that three women from the Nulpe Medio Alto Río San Juan reserve – a health promoter, a 9-year-old girl and her mother – had been killed in a minefield. The community cannot determine who planted the anti-personnel mines because both the FARC guerillas and the Colombian Army have been present in the area.
On April 30 and May 1, FARC guerillas killed two men from the Cauiquer Integrado la Milagrosa reserve.
ACTION: End Military Aid to Colombia
CPT has joined dozens of organizations Religious, peace and activist organizations throughout the U.S. are working for a complete cessation of U.S. military aid to Colombia. Current U.S. aid policy reinforces impunity for human rights violations, and contributes to the displacement of millions of Colombians. Colombia is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid in the world outside the Middle East.
In the light of expanding revelations of Colombian government and army links to paramilitary death squads, groups are calling on Congress to re-cast U.S. policy in Colombia and articulate goals consistent with respect for human rights.
U.S. citizens, please contact your federal legislators urging and end to military aid for Colombia. Outside the U.S., communicate your concerns to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. See www.congress.org for contact information.