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Take Action: Support Peace in Colombia
April 07, 2011

Take Action: Support Peace in Colombia
We invite you to join in this work as we call upon our government to promote policies in Colombia that support Colombian refugees and IDPs and other victims of violence, protect human rights defenders and Church and community leader working for peace in Colombia, and contribute to safe, secure and durable land restitution policies.
Colombian civilians are still caught in the cross-fire of Colombia's nearly 50-year-long armed conflict, and hundreds of thousands of Colombians are driven from their homes annually. In cooperation with our partners in Colombia and in neighboring countries, JRS/USA works to protect the human rights and dignity of all Colombians, with particular attention to serving the needs of Colombian refugees and internally displaced persons.
(Washington, D.C.) April 7, 2011 —  With an ongoing conflict that has killed at least 30,000 civilians and displaced 5,000,000 Colombia continues to endure the largest and most protracted humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere, and is home to one of the largest displaced populations in the world.

Please take a moment to write your Senators and Congressional Representatives by clicking here and using the form on the bottom of the page.

Unfortunately, over the last decade the U.S. government has poured more than $6 billion into support of the Colombian military despite its poor human rights record. This deeply flawed plan placed far too few resources towards alleviating the suffering of the Colombian civilians violently dispossessed of their lands by the FARC guerillas, paramilitary militias, and even the Colombian armed forces. For every $100 spent on Plan Colombia over the last 10 years, only 20 cents have gone towards addressing the urgent needs of displaced Colombians and refugees fleeing the war.

The Jesuits of Colombia have also been personally touched by the continued armed conflict in Colombia. On March 28, 2011, one of the Jesuit run Programs for Peace and Development received a death threat from an apparent paramilitary group that specifically named Fr. Francisco "Pacho" de Roux, S.J. — the current Jesuit Provincial of Colombia — as a target for attack, and promised violence against a displaced community accompanied by the Jesuit-run program. 

We take such threats very seriously, understanding that such acts of terror have resulted in the extrajudicial executions in recent years of many leaders of communities accompanied by Jesuit programs. We also recall with deep sadness the 1997 slaying of several associates of the Jesuit human rights research institute, CINEP, who were executed in a home invasion carried out by a group of armed paramilitaries in Bogota.

Jesuit Refugee Service and the Jesuits of Colombia have borne daily witness to the devastating effects of the displacement crisis on all Colombians, most especially on small-scale farmers, indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. While Jesuit Refugee Service and our coalition partners have successfully advocated for U.S. policy makers to take a more balanced approach for aid in Colombia in recent years — diminishing funding that fuels the war while augmenting contributions to humanitarian aid and development for the war's victims — the fight is not over. 

Colombian civilians are still caught in the cross-fire of Colombia's nearly 50-year-long armed conflict, and hundreds of thousands of Colombians are driven from their homes annually. In cooperation with our partners in Colombia and in neighboring countries, JRS/USA works to protect the human rights and dignity of all Colombians, with particular attention to serving the needs of Colombian refugees and internally displaced persons.

This April, we invite you to join in this work as we call upon our government to promote policies in Colombia that support Colombian refugees and IDPs and other victims of violence, protect human rights defenders and Church and community leader working for peace in Colombia, and contribute to safe, secure and durable land restitution policies.

This effort is in conjunction with Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia, a nationwide rallying of thousands of students, faith leaders, people of faith, and activists who stand in solidarity with Colombian communities facing violence and displacement. Together we call for U.S. policies that would alleviate, not exacerbate, Colombia's humanitarian crisis.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA invites you to join the thousands and hold your own DoPA event! Learn more here

Please take a moment to write your Senators and Congressional Representatives by clicking here and using the form on the bottom of the page.




Press Contact Information
Mr Christian Fuchs
communications@jrsusa.org
202-462-0400 ext. 5946