Urgent Action: DIPLOMATIC ENGAGEMENT TO SOLVE CRISIS (Colombia: UA 62.21)

June 14, 2021

The national strike that began last April 28, 2021 continues with hundreds of mobilizations across the country. Authorities responded with stigmatization of protestors and excessive use of force causing human rights violations and possible crimes under international law. As the situation worsens, and after a working visit from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Colombia, the Organization of Americas States (OAS) Member States have yet to act to help resolve this crisis. We call on the United States’ Department of State to lead a diplomatic initiative within the OAS to analyse and propose human rights-based solutions for Colombia.

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  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on August 9, 2021.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 62.21. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Mr. Anthony J. Blinken
Secretary of State United States Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
United States of America
Phone:+1 202 647 4000
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @SecBlinken
Ambassador Francisco Santos
Embassy of Colombia
1724 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202 387 8338
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @ColombiaEmbUSA ; @PachoSantosC
Facebook: @ColombiaEmbassyUS
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken,

I am writing you to express my deepest concern for the worsening situation in Colombia. Since April 28, 2021 people took the streets to reject a proposed tax reform and asking for significant improvements in the government’s health, social, and economic policies. Protestors have also called for an end to the killings of human rights defenders in the country and the full implementation of the Peace Accords.

The harsh response from the government has ranged from the stigmatization of those protesting, to the security forces engaging in excessive use of force accounting for dozens of cases of possible extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, torture and other cruel and inhumane treatment and gender based violence, among others. All these are human rights violations and possible crimes under international law.

In addition, there are credible reports of urban paramilitarism, that is individuals in civilian clothes, acting with the acquiescence and tolerance of the security forces, that have killed and injured protesters in several cities.

A month and a half after the beginning of the national strike, Member States of the Organization of Americas States (OAS) are alarmingly unresponsive. The silence of Member States is costing dozens of lives and risks an escalation of the situation in a country known for its sad history of conflict.

It is time for member states to take concrete actions to help overcome this crisis.

I therefore call on to you to lead a regional diplomatic initiative within the Organization of Americas States to analyze and propose human rights-based solutions to the current crisis in Colombia.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

URGENT: Children seeking asylum in the U.S. are being denied their human rights based on their nationality — help ensure that all girls and boys fleeing violence can seek safety.