September 23, 2013
Send a message to Congress and the U.S. embassy in Colombia. Urge them to speak out against the persecution of Ricardo and other Colombian community leaders.
Ricardo Esquivia is a Mennonite peace leader and a close partner to Mennonite Central in Colombia. He is the director of Sembrandopaz (Associate for the Sowing of Seeds of Peace), which helps to build community processes of justice and peacebuilding in the Montest de María and Caribbean region of Colombia.
On September 13th, community leaders, including Ricardo, were falsely accused of being members of the FARC guerrillas by paramilitaries. One community leader, Jorge Luis Montes Hernández, has already been arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy, homicide, forced displacement, extortion, and other charges. It is suspected that Ricardo will be the next leader arrested on false charges.
Last week, MCC U.S. and 21 other organizations published a letter to the State Department urging Congress and the U.S. embassy in Colombia to take action.
Take action now to help protect Ricardo and other community leaders in Colombia from threats and intimidation. Click here to contact Congress and the U.S. embassy in Colombia.
September 10, 2013
Yesterday MCC U.S. joined leaders of 40 national Christian, Jewish, and Muslim organizations, calling on Congress to oppose the proposed authorization for the use of military force in Syria.
The letter declares: “military strikes are not the answer. Rather than bringing an end to the violence that has already cost more than 100,000 lives, U.S. military strikes threaten to widen the vicious civil war in Syria and undermine prospects to de-escalate the violence and eventually reach a just negotiated settlement, in which all actors are held accountable for crimes committed.” Read the full letter.
Call Congress to let them know your views today!
April 17, 2013
Yesterday the MCC Washington Office joined a dozen other faith-based organizations in a letter to President Obama. The letter begins:
As people and communities of faith, we are moved to express our great concern about the use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles, known commonly as drones, for targeted killings of alleged members of Al Qaeda, its affiliates and other associated forces around the world.
The use of these lethal weapons within the borders of other sovereign nations, at times without their permission, shrouded in secrecy and without clear legal authority, raises serious moral and ethical questions about the principles and the implications of this practice for U.S. foreign relations and the prospects for a more peaceful world.
Read the full letter. An updated list of signers is available here.
February 26, 2013
In a letter delivered February 19 to President Obama, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. joined 35 human rights, development, religious, and security organizations in calling on the U.S. to provide the support necessary to conclude an effective Arms Trade Treaty.
The treaty is up for renegotiation at the United Nations this spring and would regulate the cross border trade of conventional weapons by closing loopholes in the current international system. The letter notes that a strong treaty “can provide a key tool to help reduce the enormous human suffering caused by irresponsible international arms transfers and arms brokering.” The United States is the world’s leading arms supplier.
October 23, 2012
A variety of human rights groups, faith-based organizations, policy institutes and humanitarian organizations have released a statement on the second anniversary of Haiti’s cholera outbreak, renewing their call for the United Nations and U.S. government to help control the ongoing epidemic. Since the outbreak in October 2010, 7,564 Haitians have died from cholera, with some 600,000 reported cases of infection. Signatories are asking specifically for the United Nations and U.S. government to help Haiti install vital clean water and sanitation infrastructure. According to the World Health Organization, individuals without access to these amenities constitute the majority of cholera cases.
Click here to read the statement.
Read the rest of this entry »
October 5, 2012
Today 15 Christian leaders released a letter to members of the U.S. Congress, saying it is their “moral responsibility to question the continuation of unconditional U.S. financial assistance to the government of Israel.” Ron Byler, executive director of Mennonite Central Committee U.S., is one of the signers of the letter, excerpts of which follow:
In response to our Christian call to be peacemakers, we have worked for decades to support both Israelis and Palestinians in their desire to live in peace and well-being…It is this experience and these commitments that lead us to write to you today to express our grave concern about the deteriorating conditions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories which threaten to lead the region further away from the realization of a just peace…Unfortunately, unconditional U.S. military assistance to Israel has contributed to this deterioration, sustaining the conflict and undermining the long-term security interests of both Israelis and Palestinians…
Read the entire letter.
September 5, 2012
Twenty one human rights, faith-based, and humanitarian organizations, including Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office, released a statement today calling on the United Nations to take responsibility for the deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti. This statement comes in the aftermath of tropical storm Isaac, which reportedly killed at least twenty four people and caused flooding. But due to the lack of clean water and sanitation infrastructure, the disease could spread further increasing the toll on human life. The letter states:
Local authorities expect cholera levels to spike after the rains and flash flooding brought by Isaac. When Haiti experienced heavy rainfall last April, cholera levels increased. The lack of adequate sanitation and safe drinking water in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps means that drinking water sources are likely to be contaminated by waste water when flooding occurs. According to medical experts, if the multitudes of Haitians living in camps are left without access to a potable water source, Isaac could carry contaminated water to new locations and exacerbate what is already a complex emergency. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs recently reported a “very weak” “capacity to respond to potential outbreaks,” such as could occur with a drenching tropical storm.
The statement also urges U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, to respond to a July letter from 104 members of Congress asking Amb. Rice to act decisively to address Haiti’s cholera crisis.
Click here to read the statement.
The statement was signed by the following organizations:
Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti; Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office; American Jewish World Service; TransAfrica; Church World Service; Life for Relief and Development; Management Sciences for Health; Operation USA; The Haiti Support Group; Alternative Chance; Other Worlds; Environmental Justice Initiative for Haiti; Government Accountability Project; Hastings to Haiti Partnership, University of California, Hastings College of the Law; Human Rights Clinic, University of Miami School of Law; Unitarian Universalists Service Committee; Grassroots International; Gender Action; Canada Haiti Action Network; Haiti Fund at The Boston Foundation; National Lawyers Guild International Committee