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Movement Builds Against US War in Colombia

by Jess Sundin |
February 10, 2000
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Minneapolis, MN - In February, Colombian human rights activist, Maria Hernandez will visit several cities across the U.S., to give a first-hand account of the true story behind the U.S. drug war in Colombia. Her speaking tour comes on the heels of several national, grassroots initiatives to block President Clinton's proposal for $1.3 billion in new military aid to Colombia.

A statement circulated by the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee and Chicago's Colombia Solidarity Committee says in part, "U.S. military aid ... is used by militaries and paramilitaries to terrorize anyone who speaks out for workers, peasants, and basic human rights. In 1999, the U.S. government sent $289 million in military aid to Colombia, resulting in the murder, torture, and kidnapping of over a thousand of Colombian people."

Other signers of the statement included the Seattle Colombia Committee, the Coordinadora Internacional de Apoyo al Pueblo de Mexico, and individuals and organizations from Washington, DC, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego and Hawaii.

Organizers say the Clinton proposal will spell disaster for Colombia. Their statement continues, "U.S. tax dollars should not support these activities. We say 'NO' to U.S. military aid to Colombia... When Congress goes back into session it must vote against President Clinton's proposal to provide $1.3 billion in military aid to the Colombian government and military."

Ms. Hernandez will speak to hundreds of people at events in Chicago, New York and elsewhere. Her first event will be in Minneapolis at St. Stephen's Church on Saturday, February 12 at 3pm.

On November 17, 40 local anti-war activist came together at the Minneapolis Federal Building to protest U.S. military aid to Colombia. This protest organized by the CISPES Anti-war Committee targeted congress's proposed increase of the Colombian aid package to 1.5 billion dollars.

Thistle Parker-Hartog from the Anti-War Committee said, "The Clinton administration and the military-industrial complex has teamed up with Colombia's government and their paramilitary death squads to destroy Colombia's leftist movement and leaders, and to pave the way for big business." Protesters agreed, chanting, "Not a penny, not a dollar, we won¹t pay for death squad slaughter!"

For up-to-date information about US intervention in Colombia and the anti-war movement:
Minnesota Anti-War Committee  is an anti-war group in Minnesota working to stop US military aid to Colombia.
Colombia Action Network is a national network of anti-war activists fighting against US military aid to Colombia.