view all campaigns

Campaign Stories
  Alternatives to violence bring hope to Medellín
  Colombia: asking for my son's forgiveness
  Colombia: heed the victims of conflict
  Colombia: ineffective response to rise in IDPs
  Colombia: JRS efforts for peace & reconciliation
  Colombia: peace negotiations shine a ray of hope for refugees and displaced people
  Colombian refugees face stark choices
  Colombian Refugees in Ecuador and Panama
  Colombian refugees in legal limbo in Panama
  Colombian refugees in Panama and Ecuador still living on the edge
  Colombians displaced in Venezuela border region
  Conflict in Colombia normalizes sexual violence
  Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia
  Ecuador: chronicles of hospitality in Latin America
  Ecuador: JRS helps Colombian refugees
  Ecuador: Thousands of Colombian refugees at risk
  Facing adversity on the Colombia-Venezuela frontier
  Get Involved: National Days of Action for Colombia
  Invisible and Forgotten: Forcibly Displaced by Conflict in Colombia
  Latin America: non-refoulement at the borders, an essential principle
  Now is the Time for Peace with Justice in Colombia
  On Assignment in Colombia
  On Assignment in Ecuador
  On Assignment in Panama
  Panama: helping refugees integrate and adjust
  Panama: refugees look to a more hospitable future
  Refugee Crisis Simmers in Ecuador
  State Department mission to Ecuador and Colombia
  Statement of Support for the Jesuits of Colombia
  STOP! End the recruitment and use of children in war
  The Refugee Voice — Quiet Crisis: Colombian Refugees in Panama and Ecuador
  Venezuela: Colombian refugees contribute to peace
  Video: Jesuit Refugee Service in Colombia
Connect with us

(Washington, D.C) April 29, 2014 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA joined 50 U.S. faith leaders today in a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry urging the Obama Administration to continue and amplify its support for the Colombian peace process. The letter calls on the Obama Administration to transform U.S. assistance to Colombia from military aid to assistance directed at supporting peace. It also calls on the White House to emphasize the rights of victims of violence of all the armed actors and offer more vocal support for the current negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC and possible negotiations with the ELN.

As part of the 2014 Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia Campaign, leaders from a wide range of religious communities and faith-based organizations across the United States called on the administration to ensure U.S. assistance prioritizes "the safe and sustainable return of land for internally displaced persons and refugees as well as the promotion of opportunities for those who do not wish to return to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. We urge the United States to advocate for and provide funding for more effective protection programs for returning communities, as well as for human rights defenders, union members, Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities, other leaders and communities at risk, and political groups that may join the electoral process following the peace accords."

Furthermore, the letter calls on the U.S. to rethink its counter-narcotics strategy and support alternative development programs crafted with the direct participation of small-scale farmers and rural communities, rather than destroying their crops and damaging their health through forced aerial eradication programs.

Finally, the leaders call on the U.S. to further press the Colombian government to dismantle paramilitary successor groups and to properly investigate and prosecute members of Colombia’s security forces credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights. "Only when all the varied sources of violence are addressed can peace take root."

Click here to read the letter in its entirety. Click here for the letter in Spanish. 

For more information, contact:                                                                                                       

• Rev. Fritz Gutwein Associate Director, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, fritzg@presbypeacefellowship.org, t: 502-821-3437

• Rev. Michael Neuroth, Policy Advocate for International Issues, United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries, neurothm@ucc.org, t: (202)543-1517

• Mary Small, Assistant Director for Policy, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, msmall@jesuit.org, t: (202) 629-5942

• Lisa Haugaard, Executive Director, Latin America Working Group, lisah@lawg.org; t: (202) 546-7010


Countries Related to this Region
Canada, United States of America

Read the full letter here.