(MCC Photo/Silas Crews)

Argemiro Joaquin Maza Contreras carries tools and supplies on his way to his fields near old Mampuján. He can spend nearly four hours traveling from his house in Mampuján Nuevo and is eager to return to the homestead from which he was displaced in 2000.

On April 29, 2014, the leaders of MCC, Mennonite Church USA, the U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches and the Brethren in Christ joined 46 other faith leaders in calling on President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry to help encourage and support the ongoing Colombian peace process.

We call on you to speak out in favor of the rights of all victims of violence—whether they suffered at the hands of the guerrillas, the paramilitary groups and their successors, or the Colombian armed forces—to truth, justice, meaningful reparations and guarantees that the devastating violence they suffered will never again take place. Only with truth, justice, and respect for victims’ rights will a lasting peace take hold in Colombia.

Specific U.S. government asks include:

  • Revising U.S. assistance to Colombia to shift from counter-narcotic assistance and aerial spraying programs to supporting alternative development programs with farmers’ participation
  • Focusing on sustainable return of land for internally displaced persons and refugees
  • Supporting strong truth and justice mechanisms, as well as demobilization and reintegration programs, rehabilitation for child soldiers, and landmine removal
  • Pressing the Colombian government to dismantle paramilitary successor groups
  • Reaffirming the role of victims’ associations in constructing peace

Read the full letter here.

Click here to add your voice to the letters to government on the Peace with Justice for ALL Colombians.