Four Steps for US and Colombia Relations
We call on the members of the US Congress and the Obama Administration to use their votes and influence to: 1) Reject any attempts to pass a US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement; 2) End military aid to Colombia; 3) Stop the extrajudicial executions and forced displacements of Colombian farmers, unionists, opposition leaders, and indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities; 4) Free the Political Prisoners in Colombia and press for a humanitarian exchange for prisoners as a first step toward a just peace. Colombia has the most repressive government in Latin America. More people are killed in political violence than in Chile under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Still, the US government supplies Colombia with millions of our tax dollars in military aid each year. That money filters through the military to the paramilitary death squads, which routinely murder leaders in the trade union and protest movements. In 2008, murders of union members rose 25% and forced displacement of people rose 41%. Colombia also has over 7,200 political prisoners, many arrested on the basis of false, paid, and/or anonymous testimony. All this is part of a crackdown on dissent so that the land and resources of Colombia can be turned over for transnational corporate development. A US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement would complete this process of repression for the sake of corporate profits. The FTA is vigorously opposed by the Colombian labor movement. It would destroy family and sustainable farms in both the US and Colombia, much as NAFTA has hurt farming communities in the US, Canada, and Mexico. NO MORE MILITARY AID TO COLOMBIA AND NO FTA! NO TAXES TO SPONSOR DEATH SQUADS, REPRESSION AND DISPLACEMENT!