- July 31st, 2009
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I am a Pentecostal Christian and am very concerned about the US plans to construct military bases in Colombia. Christian Peacemaker Teams since 2001 has been accompanying Colombian farmers who are threatened by guerrillas, paramilitaries, and Colombian military forces. The farmers have often told these armed groups, “You have been trying to resolve the conflict in Colombia for the last 50 years with a gun. Can’t you see it just does not work? It just results in more suffering and death of people each day.”
To build military bases in Colombia is continuing this same false assumption that the conflict in Colombia can be solved with a gun. Lasting resolutions to conflict are resolved with negotiations. Let’s support President Barack Obama’s proclamation to make diplomacy central in US foreign policy. Let’s start talking with the FARC, the ELN, the paramilitaries, and Hugo Chavez. Please insist that the Colombian government participate in these talks.
This would also be much more in line with the great religious teachers of the world, including Jesus of Nazareth.
At the current US military aid rate of a million dollars a day to Colombia, I imagine the corporate suppliers want to keep the civil war going. But I say it is past time to stop it.
Please, please for the sake of Colombians and all Latin Americans, do not build military bases in Colombia. Instead, let us send aid in the form of health, education, and diplomacy which is constructive rather than destructive.
Thanks for your consideration on this matter. I would welcome your response.
Praying and Working for Peace and Justice,