WITNESS FOR PEACE DELEGATION TO COLOMBIA
Bilateral Free Trade Agreement,Human Rights and Military Repression
AUG. 24TH – SEPT. 3RD, 2008
Colombia has always been a rich nation in its agricultural diversity. Control of natural resources has historically fueled conflict with a pattern of internal displacement for Afro-Colombian and indigenouscommunities. Colombia’s Pacific Coast, an area lush with natural resources is 80%-95% African-descendant, who along side indigenous peoples, have inhabited these isolated territories for 400 years. These communities have endured decades of a brutal armed conflict between guerrillas, paramilitary death squads and the nationalarmy. Right now the U.S. government is trying to push a free trade agreement with Colombia which would further jeopardize the rights of indigenous and Afro Colombian communities. Also, since Plan Colombia began in 2000, the U.S.government has provided Colombia with over $5 billion in mostly military aid to fight the “Waron Drugs” and the “War on Terror.” In light of the long term internal civil conflict in Colombia, how is the free trade agreement and U.S. military aid used or connected to these human rights violations? These communities are calling for support from U.S. citizens to spread the word about their situation and help call for respect for their rights.
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