Fax Secretary Clinton: Do Not Certify Human Rights in Colombia!

On Tuesday night, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton landed in Colombia; by today she'll be in Barbados. During her 24 hours in Colombia, unfortunately she did not hear much about the rise in threats and attacks against human rights defenders and afro-descendant and indigenous groups in Colombia; or the illegal wiretapping scandal that President Uribe was implicated in; Or any of Colombia's almost 5 million internally displaced people.

Even though these issues were sadly absent from her agenda and conversations with President Uribe, these are exactly what she must be thinking about as the State Department prepares to make its most important decision on U.S.-Colombia policy this year.

Click here to tell Secretary Clinton what she really needs to know about Colombia.

We need your help to get her this key information because on her return, the State Department will decide whether or not to certify that the Colombian government is doing enough on human rights to meet the conditions tied to a portion of U.S. aid to Colombia. If they say no, then the Colombian government will not receive that funding until it prioritizes human rights--meaning taking steps to support human rights defenders, to protect indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, and to hold accountable the soldiers responsible for the killing of more than 2000 innocent civilians.

The U.S. government has never used this powerful tool. However, as human rights continue to decline in Colombia, there is no reason why they shouldn't use this critical leverage. It will take a strong push from US citizens and people of faith to make the State Department realize that they can no longer stand on the sidelines, and must use their power to promote the rights of all.

Click here to send State a clear message today: if you care about human rights, do not certify!

Since hundreds of human rights groups in Colombia have been threatened repeatedly in the last couple months, two key human rights defenders were assassinated in May alone, and Colombia is now electing a new President, it is more important than ever that the U.S. government send a strong message to the new administration that it must increase support for human rights.

Please join us in sending Secretary Clinton this important message today.

(Thanks to the Latin American Working Group for its partnership in grassroots advocacy for human rights in Colombia.)