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Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002
Urgent: Stop military aid to Colombia!

(This action alert comes from LAWG, the Latin America Working Group. Their web page:

Bush emergency spending bill to start debate in House THIS WEEK. Massive expansion of Colombia military aid if we don't act now! If you make one call on Colombia this year, PLEASE MAKE IT THIS ONE.

We have very little time, so please pass this along to your lists and start making calls ASAP!

In this alert:
1) Update on Bush's emergency supplemental bill-- more military aid for Colombia, broader scope;
2) Action on the supplemental needed IMMEDIATELY

Update on Emergency Supplemental General info on the supplemental: President Bush is asking Congress for an additional $27.1 billion for this year (FY2002) to expand the ongoing war on terrorism in Afghanistan, the US, and elsewhere around the globe. Nineteen countries are listed as recipients of aid through this emergency supplemental, and one is Colombia. According to the State Department's most recent Human Rights Report, the security forces of fourteen of these nineteen countries have been guilty of serious human rights violations during the past year. The President did not request additional funds to address pressing human security concerns such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic, or the suffering of civilian victims of US bombing in Afghanistan and their families.

What does this bill do?

General: Besides giving a massive $27 billion more for the war on terrorism, this bill would fundamentally change the laws currently governing US foreign aid. The bill would channel millions of dollars in foreign aid through the Pentagon rather than the State Department. That means less congressional oversight of where the money goes and how it is spent. The bill would also remove or override current restrictions on military aid to countries with notoriously poor human rights records, such as Colombia and Indonesia.

Colombia: This bill has a large section on Colombia, which, if it passes, would:


1) Call your Members of Congress!

Make calls before May 10! The House Appropriations Committee and International Relations Committee will take up this bill by the end of April. The Senate Appropriations Committee may take up the bill as early as May 1. Then the bill will go to the full House and Senate-- the President would like the bill to be passed before Memorial Day.

Call your members of Congress tell them to oppose lifting restrictions on military aid to Colombia (talking points are included below). Please call his or her office in Washington, ask to speak with the foreign policy aide, and voice your concerns to him or her. To reach the DC office, call the congressional switchboard at 202/224-3121. If you do not know who your senators are, please see
If you do not know who your representative is, please
see .

This bill is being pushed through Congress very quickly by the administration, leaving very little room for debate. We need debate on this massive shift in US military aid! We need to act now to stop this policy change!

2) Send a letter! You can also send a letter by fax or e-mail. To view a sample letter to Congress, click on the link below, which will take you to the website of the Friends Committee on National Legislation here in DC. Then enter your zip code and click >Go> in the box. Here is the link:

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