A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

Thanks everyone so much for your help with sending letters to Colombia on behalf of human rights defenders. I need to ask for your help again. Below is an action from Lutheran World Relief and Chicago Religious Leaders Network on Latin America about Rogelio Martinez Mercado.
Rogelio was a civil society leader who was murdered for his efforts to return land that had been taken illegally by armed groups in Colombia. Rogelio worked closely with Justicia y Paz and the Movement of victims of Crimes of the State – it was several staff of Justicia that many of you mailed letters for recently.
Murdering Rogelio is a message to the community and human rights organizations that partner with them – that the paramilitaries will target human rights defenders.
Help Rogelio’s family, community and other human rights defenders by taking the action below.
 
Lutheran World Relief
We join with Lutheran World Relief and members of the Presbyterian Church in Colombia in mourning the death of Rogelio Martinez Mercado, who was murdered on May 18 in the Sucre province of Colombia. Please read about Mr. Martínez on the CRLN webpage: www.crln.org and take action! CRLN receives many reports of threats, unjust imprisonments, and killings throughout Latin America and responds through our human rights letter writing program, primarily with student interns from DePaul University. Join with them in demanding justice for Rogelio and protection for Rogelio’s family and community. Here’s how:
  • Read about Rogelio’s case on the CRLN website by clicking here
  • Write letters to Colombian government officials (names, titles, and fax numbers listed below) calling on them to:
    • Conduct an independent, thorough and independent investigation into Rogelio’s murder
    • Take immediate measure to provide adequate protection to Rogelio’s wife, Julia Torres Cancino, and their four children, as well as other members of the farming commumity of La Alemania
    • Swiftly resolve long-standing legal issues that have made it impossible for all farming families originally displaced from La Alemania Farm to return safely
    • Transform security and development policies on Colombia’s northern coast that have left small farmers vulnerable to violence

*some wording taken from Amnesty International and Lutheran World Relief

Please address and fax these letters to:
Dr. Francisco Santos Calderon
Vicepresidencia de la República de Colombia Carrera 8a, No 7-27 Bogotá, Colombia
Fax: 011 57 1 565 7682
Salutation: Dear Mr. Vice President
Dr. Guillermo Mendoza Diago
Fiscal General de la Nación
Diagonal 22B (Av. Luis Carlos Galan No. 52-01) Bloque C, Piso 4 Bogotá, Colombia
Fax: 011 57 1 570 2000 (extension 2017)
Salutation: Dear Attorney General Mendoza
Travel to Colombia! Witness for Peace has several trips to Colombia planned for this summer. These trips are important to help us understand the reality in Colombia. This way we can return home as better advocates for just U.S. policies towards Latin America with compelling first-hand experiences and stories. We especially encourage you to join with the Eighth Day Center for Justice as they partner with Witness for Peace on a delegation to Colombia this August. For more information, please click here or contact Erin Cox or Ashley Velchek at 312-641-5151 or wfpmagdalena@8thdaycenter.org
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