Colombia Answers: Civil Society Asks US Congress to Reject "Plan Colombia" 6/16/00

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Numerous Colombian Non-Governmental Organizations, including human rights, social and peace groups, have issued a statement asking the US Congress to reject the drug war plan it is currently considering (vote scheduled Monday). We reprint their letter and list of signatories, followed by a legislative alert:

Plan Colombia: A Plan for Peace, or a Plan for War? A Declaration from Social and Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations and the Peace Movement in Colombia,

Bogota, May 31, 2000

We would like to express our support for those offers of international assistance that contribute to resolving the armed conflict through a process of political negotiation, and that strengthen and unite Colombian society and the economy. We support proposals that include viable and integral solutions to the problem of drug trafficking, the design of a new development model agreed to by the people, and the strengthening of a new kind of democratic institutionality.

However, Plan Colombia, presented by the Government of President Pastrana, has been developed with the same logic of political and social exclusion that has been one of the structural causes of the conflict Colombians have experienced since the time of our formation as a Republic.

In this same vein, because we feel it is a mistake, we are obliged to reject the fact that Plan Colombia includes, as one of its strategies, a military component that not only fails to resolve the narco-trafficking problem, but also endangers the efforts to build peace, increases illicit crop production, violates the Amazonic ecosystem, aggravates the humanitarian and human rights crisis, multiplies the problem of forced displacement, and worsens the social crisis with fiscal adjustment policies. In its social component, the Plan is limited to attending to some of the tangential causes and effects of the conflict.

What we are proposing is the need for a concerted agreement between different actors in Colombian society and the international community, one where civil society is the principal interlocutor, where solutions to the varied conflicts are found, and where stable and sustainable peace is constructed. We are ready and willing to design strategies, to define forms of implementation and to monitor a plan that reflects these intentions.

TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE ARGUMENTS PUT FORTH ABOVE, WE THE UNDERSIGNED ARE GIVEN NO CHOICE BUT TO REJECT THE US ASSISTANCE FOR COLOMBIA THAT YOU ARE CONSIDERING AT THIS TIME.

Sincerely,

Asamblea Permanente de la Sociedad Civil por la Paz * Asamblea Nacional de Jóvenes por la Paz * Red de Iniciativas contra la Guerra y por la Paz - REDEPAZ * Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia * Plataforma Colombiana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo * Red Nacional de Mujeres Regional Bogotá * Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres * Mandato Ciudadano por la Paz, la Vida y la Libertad * Partido Comunista Colombiano * Asociación Nacional de Usuarios Campesinos - ANUC-UR * Central Unitaria de Trabajadores CUT * Federación Sindical Agraria FENSUAGRO * Frente Social y Político Amplio * Red de Universidades por la Paz y la Convivencia * Instituto de Estudios para la Paz INDEPAZ * Asociación Nacional de Estudiantes Universitarios ACEU * Asociación Nacional de Estudiantes de Secundaria ANDES * Unión Sindical Obrera * Asamblea por la Paz de la USO * Asociación de Trabajo Interdisciplinario - ATI * Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo * Corporación para el desarrollo social Alternativo - MINGA * Comité de Solidaridad con los Presos Políticos * Corporación Región * Benposta, Nación de muchachos * Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular CINEP * Comisión Colombiana de Juristas * Fundación Cultura Democrática * Juventud comunista JUCO * Casa de La Mujer * Consultoría de Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento * ASMEDAS * Grupo de Apoyo a Organizaciones de Desplazados (GAD) * Instituto Latinoamericano de Servicios Legales Alternativas, ILSA * Proceso de Comunidades Negras * Vamos Mujer * Viva La Ciudadanía * Asociación Nacional de Ayuda Solidaria ANDAS * Corporación de Promoción Popular * Corporación de Luchadores de la Paz y la Democracia * FUNCOP * CENSAT AGUA VIVA * Coordinación Nacional de Desplazados * Corriente de Renovación Socialista * Comisión Intergregacional JUSTICIA Y PAZ * Unión de Ciudadanas de Colombia * FAUSALUD * Comité Local de Derechos Humanos * Corporación Nuevo Arco Iris * Corporación Centro de Promoción y Cultura * Red Nacional de Salud * Unión Patriótica * Fundación para la Educación y el Desarrollo FEDES * FIDHAP * Movimiento Cimarrón * Confederación General de Trabajadores Democráticas CGTD * ULTRADEC * Colectivo de Abogados Guillermo Marín * Corporación Madre Tierra * Fundación Parcomún * Fundación Mencoldes * Centro Cleber * Asociación de Familiares de Detenidos y Desaparecidos - ASFADDES * Corporación Centro Cleber * Corporación Utopías * Humanidad Vigente Coporación Jurídica * Funprocep * Corporación Jurídica Libertad * Fundecima - CIMA * Pastoral Social Villavicencio * Comité Permanente para los derechos Humanos Regional Caldas * Confederación Nacional de Pensionados * Corporación Región * Presbiterio de la Costa Norte * Instituto Popular de Capacitación - IPC * Confederacion de Pensionados de Colombia - C.P.C. * Fundación Sol y Tierra - Popayan * Corporación AVRE

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Issue #141, 6/16/00 On Campus: Drug and Alcohol Arrests Increase, Hampshire College Students Establish Fund to Assist Drug Offenders Losing Aid, Campaign Spreads | USA Today Editorial Supports HEA Campaign, Other Press, What You Can Do | Goodbye to Peter McWilliams | Colombia Answers: Civil Society Asks US Congress to Reject "Plan Colombia" | Alert: Colombia Vote in US Senate MONDAY | Two Strains of Cannabis Politics: Hemp and Marijuana in Kentucky | Holland to Hooligans: Mellow Out, Dudes -- Dutch Authorities Use Cannabis to Tranquilize Potential Soccer Rowdies | Washington State Democratic Party Adopts Sweeping Drug Reform Planks | Follow That Story, Part I: McCarthyism in Syracuse | Follow That Story, Part II: Faint Glimmers of Hope in Texas | Hawaii: Nation's First Medical Marijuana Legislation Signed Into Law, Visiting Governors Suffer Symptoms of Contact High | Kansas City Star Strikes Again: Asset Forfeiture Series Exposes Police End-Runs Around State Laws | NEW JERSEY Alert: Whitman Joins Ecstasy Panic, Calls for New Penalties | Ecstasy Panic: Salon.com Coverage and Other Info | Alert: Help Save Freedom of Speech from the Drug War | Alert: Minnesota Medical Marijuana | Media Scan | Hepatitis Outreach Resources | Event Calendar
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