Colombia is in the midst of historic negotiations to end its bloody internal armed conflict. Despite many obstacles, there is reason to believe the peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) will be successful and end Latin America’s longest conflict. The talks, however, do not occur in a vacuum; they need YOUR support.
The negotiations offer an opportunity for Colombia to address its historic marginalization of minority groups and massive internal displacement crisis. Yet the mere existence of talks—monumental as they are—does not guarantee peace in Colombia. A lasting peace will require international pressure to reach an agreement at the table, and most importantly, implement that agreement on the ground.
The letter, circulated by Representatives McGovern and Schakowsky, calls on the U.S. Department of State to advocate for the inclusion of victims, civil society, and marginalized groups in the peace process. Trade unionists, human rights defenders, Afro-Colombians, and indigenous peoples have been disproportionately affected by the conflict; a lasting peace is not possible without their voice. From supporting programs for internally displaced populations to demanding justice for extrajudicial killings, the U.S. government has an important role to play during and after the peace process.
While we are hopeful that Colombia can at last achieve peace, obstacles still remain. To keep pressure on for an agreement, we need a strong, bipartisan show of support from our elected leaders. Forward this letter with your friends, family, and coworkers to develop a broad base of support for peace.