Dear Ambassador Goldberg,
As U.S. citizens and members of a global community connected to and concerned about Colombia, we write to request that in your position as ambassador of the United States you make it your first priority to help Colombia achieve a just and lasting peace.
The signing of the peace accords between the Colombian state and the FARC guerrillas made history as a chance to end the longest-running war in the Western Hemisphere in which over 260,000 people died and over 8 million people were internally displaced. But to achieve peace, the peace accords must be implemented and the Colombian government as well as the former guerrillas must make good on their promises to the victims.
As ambassador, you are uniquely placed to encourage the Colombian government to fully and faithfully implement the peace accords and to ensure that U.S. aid supports the victims of the armed conflict in their search for truth, justice, reparations, and the guarantees that the brutal past will not return. Please urge the Colombian government to protect the local Afro-Colombian, indigenous, and campesino communities and their leaders who suffered so much during the conflict and yet are still at risk. These communities must be supported as they build peace on the ground.
We also urge you to encourage the Colombian government to work with farming communities to sustainably replace coca production without resorting to the tactics of aerial spraying and military force that have proven to be so ineffective and inhumane. Finally, we ask you to encourage the Colombian government to be persistent in efforts to negotiate peace with the last major guerrilla force, the ELN, to build a more comprehensive peace.
Many in Colombia are ready to break the cycle of violence and begin a new chapter of reconciliation and peace. We hope the United States can support this welcome change.