In early May the Obama Administration sent its budget request for aid to Colombia to Congress (you can read a complete analysis here). The administration has said many good things since coming to office, but now that they're showing us the money--and repeating the Bush Administration's military aid request--it's clear that these positive words are not yet being backed up with positive deeds.
We need you to act today to tell President Obama that his aid request does not reflect your values and that you still expect him to follow through on his promise to bring real change to the United States' approach to the world. Send President Obama an email today and let's make some noise on behalf of victims of U.S. policy in Colombia!
- The President of the United States
I write to share some of my thoughts about your administration's foreign aid request for Colombia that was recently sent to Congress.
While I applaud your request to significantly cut U.S. funding for a failed drug policy that's displaced countless Colombians without reducing coca growing, as well as to continue sending aid for important goals like strengthening the judicial system, your proposal for aid to Colombia falls far short of the change that you've promised to deliver.
Rather than making a clean break with the past, your request would keep aid to the Colombian Army at the same levels sought by the Bush Administration-even as soldiers continue to commit extrajudicial executions of innocent civilians-and jettison human rights conditions that have proven to be an indispensable tool in the fight against impunity in Colombia.
Rather than standing by the victims of violence, your request would decrease already insufficient aid for refugees who are pouring into neighboring countries with violence at their heels and are in desperate need of our help.
I want you to know that I expect more from you and your administration. Next year, I encourage you to lead Congress in building a U.S. policy towards Colombia that makes standing by victims and strengthening respect for human rights the top priorities.
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