National Days of Action for Colombia
With nearly 5 million displaced people, Colombia now stands just behind Sudan as the world's second worst internal displacement crisis. Meanwhile, our government continues to send hundreds of millions more in military aid than in humanitarian aid to Colombia, assisting the victimizers more than the victims. To bring change, help us inundate Congress with calls and emails for policies that would alleviate, not exacerbate, Colombia's crisis.
Such concentrated advocacy works. Last year, over 25,000 people participated in the National Days of Action for Colombia, spurring tens of thousands of postcards, calls, and emails asking President Obama to hold true to his policy change pledges. The unprecedented surge of Colombia-focused advocacy bore fruit in February when the Obama Administration proposed replacing millions of dollars of displacement-exacerbating military aid with much-needed humanitarian assistance. To lock in those changes and gain an even greater cut in military aid, we now need to make sure that Congress hears our call for change just as loudly as the President did. Please call or email your representative today.
Call Your Representative
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your House representative (if you don't know who your rep is, just give your address). Once connected, ask for the foreign policy aide and state your case for policy change. Here's a sample call script (feel free to pick from among these points, or from our longer list of requests below):
"I am a constituent of Representative ________ calling to urge her/him to change U.S. policies toward Colombia so as to alleviate, not exacerbate, that country's massive internal displacement crisis, which is now second in the world only to Sudan. Specifically, I ask the representative to:
- Co-sponsor House Resolution 1224, which supports the rights of displaced Afro-Colombians, indigenous people, and women.
- End aid to the Colombian military, which has proven complicit in much of the displacement. Use the funds instead to address the vast needs of Colombia's nearly 5 million displaced people.
- Cancel fumigation and forced eradication programs that have pushed thousands of farmers from their lands without reducing coca production. Replace these programs with greater investment in drug prevention and rehabilitation programs that reduce demand for drugs here at home.
- Create opportunities for small-scale farmers, and abandon plans for the Colombia free trade agreement that would likely force them out of farming and into the ranks of the displaced.
- Promote a negotiated end to the conflict, not an ill-fated military solution. Please withhold funds for the U.S. Southern Command until the agreement that established a U.S. military presence on at least seven Colombian military bases is annulled."
Email Your Representative
Calls are generally more effective than emails in persuading Congress, but if you'd prefer to send a quick email to your representative just enter your zip code below, fill in your info, and click send. If you'd like to add to the letter, please see below for our full list of policy change requests.