October 2, 2020
Dear President Duque:
I write on behalf of the Colombia Support Network (CSN), a nonprofit human rights promoting organization with headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, out of concern for the safety of public figures and others who have worked for peace and justice in Colombia. Today we received the news that Social Leader Elias Galindo, a former member of the Polo Democratico Alternativo Party, was found murdered in his residence in Medellin. Our concerns were multiplied when we learned that on September 30 an attempt was made upon the life of Colombian lawyer and political leader Piedad Cordoba Ruiz in Bogota. We have supported the work for human rights that former Senator Cordoba has done from the time when she was taken prisoner by the forces of Carlos Castano many years ago up to her promotion of the Peace Agreement and participation with victims of the conflict of which she herself was a victim.
We are distressed that you as President have done so little to promote effectively the implementation of the Peace Agreement. Protection of the lives of those who have worked incessantly for peace in the Colombian countryside has failed monumentally, as each week brings us reports of murders of leaders in campesino, Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities who seek peacefully to protect and improve their communities.
We are conveying our disappointment with your failure to implement effectively the provisions of the Peace Agreement to our representatives in the United States Congress as they determine what budgetary support their government should provide to your government and the Colombian military, with the latter responsible for thousands of murders of innocent civilians done for military promotions. United States Senator Tammy Baldwin and United States Congressman Mark Pocan, to whom we are sending copies of this letter, have both accompanied delegations of our organization, CSN, to Colombia and have a long-standing interest in developments in your country.
Co-Founder and Program Director, Colombia Support Network
Copies to: U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin
U.S. Congressman Marc Pocan