the wake of a dozen Vigils throughout the United States on January 11, 2000,
Lori Berenson began a hunger fast. This news has been confirmed by the Peruvian
prison authorities and the U.S. Embassy in Peru. This date represents the fourth
anniversary of Lori’s unjust conviction at gunpoint by a hooded military
"judge". Her sentence, life imprisonment. Lori is also protesting the
lack of help from her own government as well as the intransigence of the
continue your calls and letters to President Clinton. He has an obligation as
stated in Act of Congress (22 U.S.C., Section 1732) to come to the aid of any
U.S. citizen wrongfully held in a foreign country. Ask the President to demand
her immediate release. Four years is too long. Her health is failing.
members of the Steering Committee of the Committee to Free Lori Berenson, the
Office of the Americas will continue to foster actions nationally for Lori’s
in the Wilderness leader, Kathy Kelly began a month long fast Washington, D.C.
on January 15, the birthday of Martin Luther King and the ninth anniversary of
the beginning of the Gulf War. Crimes are committed every day in our name
against the Iraqi people. Thousands of Iraqi children die every month because of
our embargo. In 1991 a firestorm of bombs and weaponry shattered Iraq to its
core. The civilian infrastructure was targeted including electrical grids and
water sanitation plants. Weapons made with depleted uranium have left a toxic
nuclear legacy for our troops as well as for the Iraqi people. U.S. planes have
bombed Iraq for over nine years making this the longest bombing campaign since
the Vietnam War. Kathy together with Voices in the Wilderness fasters asks you
to contact your congressional representative, to notify your local media and, if
possible to come to Washington, D.C. to visit and lobby lawmakers to end the
crimes against the people of Iraq.
PLANS TO "WIN" THE VIETNAM WAR IN COLOMBIA 1.6 BILLION FROM THE U.S.
WILL SERVE TO INCREASE FLOW OF DRUGS
has a population of 39,309,422 people. This is more people than all of Central
America put together. The Colombian people in a plebiscite have declared their
choice for a negotiated solution in their long civil war. The children of
Colombia in an unprecedented plebiscite have demanded a negotiated solution. The
United Nations Office in Bogota has expressed its willingness to act as
mediator. But the dogs of war keep barking from the Pentagon. General Charles
Wilhelm, the head of the U.S. Southern Command is arguing for negotiations from
the "battlefield" in Colombia. His reference to battlefield seems to
be a flashback to the Civil War in the United States. There is no battlefield in
Colombia, just as there was no battlefield in Vietnam. The entire country is in
conflict. The United States is encouraging Colombia’s Air Force to adopt a
policy of shooting down "suspected" drug smuggling aircraft. Such was
the fate of some 2,000,000 "suspected guerrillas" in Vietnam.
the greatest charade of this entire plan for war is the idea that eliminating
the rebels of Colombia will eliminate the drug business. Quite simply, if every
rebel in Colombia were dead today the drug business would still be flourishing.
Is there anyone who does not know that the drug business is connected to the
Colombian government, the Colombian military and paramilitary, as well as to the
U.S. Embassy in Colombia?
time has come to protest Washington’s plans for war in Colombia. The ignorance
and malice, the disrespect for the people of Colombia and the people of the
United States is literally unforgivable. Why will 1.6 billion dollars increase
the flow of drugs? Because the planned aid will provide funds to the Colombian
military which has collaborated with illegal paramilitary forces by forcing
1,000,000 people from their homes. The U.S. aid package will simply enhance the
Colombian military’s capacity for carrying out "dirty work" against
Colombian citizens, including human rights workers, school teachers, union
leaders, journalists, university professors and anyone else who tries to
criticize Colombia’s facade of democracy and its long history of impunity for
those who commit or facilitate the committing of atrocities.
of millions of dollars already wasted by the United States on the Colombian
military to fight the hare brained "war on drugs" have neither slowed
the entry of drugs from Colombia to the United States nor curbed human rights
abuses by the Colombian military. We can expect the 1.6 billion package to
result in more innocent Colombians killed, more military abuses of human rights
and greater paramilitary involvement in massacres and displacement of the
population. Since the security forces are reliably reported to be engaged in
drug trafficking, we can expect the net impact of this "aid" to
increase the flow of drugs from Colombia to the United States.
illegal NATO bombing and destruction of Serbia which the Russians are currently
imitating in Chechnya, included ignoring the international mission of the United
Nations. The mediation of the United Nations in El Salvador and in Guatemala was
received enthusiastically by both countries. Is it too much to ask of the United
States that it conform to international law and foster a United Nations
mediation in Colombia?
opinions on Colombia were confirmed by our personal presence in the war zones of
Uraba in northern Colombia and our interviews with government, military and
www.officeoftheamericas.org Also: www.igc.apc.org/csn/