Open Letter to the Colombian People, Press and Government:
Stop the Bloodshed in Uraba,
Due Process for Jose Antonio Lopez, Nelson Campo and others,
and an End to Faceless Justice and Political Repression


Open Letter to the Colombian Public

We, the undersigned, are North Americans and others who are deeply disturbed by the human rights situation in Colombia.

Massacres, disappearances and torture happen continually in the anguished region of Uraba. We can not understand how paramilitary groups operate so freely in this militarized region where the Colombian army is present in massive numbers, and which does not perform its constitutional function of defending the civilian population. And we can not understand why the regional paramilitary leader is not apprehended and brought to justice for his crimes against humanity.

We call upon all armed parties -- paramilitary units, guerrillas, army, police, urban militias and commandos -- to immediately cease all attacks upon both the civilian population and upon each other. Justice, peace and a fruitful life is never found through murder, torture, kidnapping and intimidation.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the U.S. government gave the Colombian government millions of dollars to help establish Faceless Justice, which was supposed to protect judges and others from narcoterrorism. Today, however, many of the detained are NOT narcoterrrorists -- but include community leaders, trade-unionists and ordinary people. We feel ashamed that the U.S. government, under the guise of the War on Drugs, helped the Colombia have juridical system that would never be accepted within the United States -- a system where it is virtually impossible to prove your innocence.

We call attention to the use of Faceless Justice in the case of the detained former Mayors of Apartadó Jose Antonio Lopez Bula and Nelson Campo Nuñez, accused of being the masterminds of La Chinita massacre of 1994 (case #20397-2635 of the Regional Judge of Medellin). According to sworn affadavits, their political enemies manufactured evidence which is being manipulated for political reasons. A major Catholic Church official has stated that he believes Jose Antonio Lopez innocent. We urge the Colombian authorities to provide LEGAL DUE PROCESS to those accused in this case.

We ask the Colombian mass media for objectivity in its reports and that it stop condemning, without presenting all the facts, Apartadó's former mayors Jose Antonio Lopez Bula and Nelson Campo Nuñez. We shall continue to denounce human rights violations until there is peace and justice and respect for all in Colombia.


Signed:
Ed Asner (Los Angeles,CA), Tammy Baldwin - Representative, State Assembly (Madison, WI), Medea Benjamin (San Francisco, CA), Phillip Berrigan (Baltimore, MD), Blase Bonpane, Ph.D. (Los Angeles, CA), Roy Bourgeois (Lucher, LA), Noam Chomsky (Lexington, MA), John Dear (Richmond, VA),. Obispo Auxiliar Thomas Gumbleton (Detroit, MI), Douglas LaFollette - Wisconsin Secretary of State (Madison, WI), Robert Meeropol* (Springfield, MA), *Hijo menor de Julio y Ethel Rosenberg Michael Parenti (Berkeley, CA), Martin Sheen (Los Angeles, CA), William Thiesenhusen, Ph.D. (Univ of Wisconsin-Madison), Mike Verveer - Councilman, City Council (Madison, WI), Haskell Wexler (Los Angeles, CA), Colombia Support Network (Madison, WI) Dane County-Apartadó Sister Communities Project (Madison, WI), Chicago Colombia Human Rights Committee (Chicago, IL), Colombia Multimedia Project (New York, NY), Common Courage Press (Monroe, ME), Community Action on Latin America (Madison, WI), Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace (Geneseo, NY), Office of the Americas (Los Angeles, CA), Veterans for Peace (Port Matilda, PA), U.S.-Guatemala Labor Education Project (Chicago, IL), Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua (Madison, WI), Wisconsin Interfaith Committee on Latin America (Madison, WI), Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice (Cleveland, OH), Christa Acker (Solon, OH), Julaine Allen (Spring Green, WI), Lynn Alten (Madison, WI), Gloria-Jeanne Anderson (Milwaukee, WI), Teeter Anderson (Milwaukee, WI), Frances Anderson (Windsor, OH), Renee Leilani Arakawa (Madison, WI), Clark Arrington (Boston, MA), Jackie Austin (Oregon, WI), Jo-Anne Baccielo (Wethersfield, CT), Susan Bailey (Geneseo, NY), Thomas Baker (Chicago, IL), Vivian Balester (Cleveland Heights, OH), Rev Ann Barner (Cleveland, OH), Len Barron (Boulder, CO), Sophie Bartell (Cleveland Heights, OH), Greg Bates (Monroe, ME), Mary Kay Baum (Dodgeville, WI), Laura Beldiman (Northampton, MA), Rev. Charles H. Berthoud (Lewisburg, PA), Ione M. Biggs (East Cleveland, OH), Ethel Biro (Madison, WI), Lajos Biro (Madison, WI), Regina Birchem (Irwin, PA), Bea Blank (Milwaukee, WI), Phillip Blank (Milwaukee, WI), Charlotte Bleistein (Greendale, WI), Bonnie Block (Madison, WI), Gabe Blood (Madison, WI), Joan Bloom (Boulder, CO), Elizabeth Boardman (Madison, WI), Dan Bolef (Irwin, PA), Tom Boswell (Madison, WI), Judith Botwin (Cleveland Heights, OH), Dean Bowles (Monona, WI), Dr. Jeffrey Boy (Champaign, IL), Robert Braby (West Lake, OH), Brad (Denver, CO), Chris Brady (Corvallis, OR), Peter Brandon (Madison, WI), Erik Breilid (Madison, WI), Sandra Brown (Milwaukee, WI), Peggy Brozeiceoil (Burlington, VT), Eric Buchanan (Madison, WI), Betty Burkes (Wellfleet, MA), Lee Burkholder (Madison, WI), Mary Burns (Madison, WI), Jeremiah Cahill (Madison, WI), Thomas Campbell (Madison, WI), Miriam Campos (Boulder, CO), Betty Cernan (Cleveland, OH), K. Laurence Chang (Lyndhurst, OH), Dorothy Ciarlo (Boulder, CO), Stephen Coats (Chicago, IL), Kenneth Coffeen (Lake Mills, WI), Mark Cohen (Madison, WI), Mark Cohen (Denver, CO), Aspeth M. Colwell (Dodgeville, WI), Edgar Concha (Zephyr Cove, NV), Lisa Concha-Foley (Zephyr Cove, NV), Bryan Conde (Shaker Heights, OH), Bob Cormier (Middleton, WI), Mirna Corrigan (Cleveland Heights, OH), Judy Corrigan (Cleveland Heights, OH), Ted Crowell (Providence, RI), Lisa Curich (Madison, WI), Rose Daitsman (Milwaukee, WI), Jane Dalrymple (Mount Morris, NY), Jack Dash (Mount Morris, NY), Rose Marie Dereks (Madison, WI), Verdell DeYarman (Milwaukee, WI), Mary Dial (Poynette, WI), Joel Diegelman (Madison, WI), Todd Dinkelman (Madison, WI), Bernadine Dohrn (Chicago, IL), Tricia Doughty (Madison, WI), Evan Douthit (Chicago, IL), Nathan Dudley (New York, NY), Stuart Dymzarov (Madison, WI), Jean Eden (Madison, WI), Lois Edgerton (Cleveland, OH), Kathryn Elwers (Madison, WI), Fr. 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