You know how it goes when you are getting ready to go on vacation- a flurry of activity to accomplish all the tasks that need to be done before you can really take a break, unplug and unwind. The same holds true for Congress! The last weeks have been busy with wrapping up all kinds of loose ends before the August recess. The good news is that this resulted in a flurry of actions in support of the peace process in Colombia.
On July 29, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus sent a letter to President Santos of Colombia, expressing that they are encouraged by the progress of negotiations to date. They reaffirmed the commitment of the U.S. government to remain engaged and supportive of the peace process. Representatives Sanchez (CA) & Gallego (AZ) signed the statement as the leaders of the Caucus. MCC’s partner, Justapaz, recently met with Representative Gallego while here in Washington.
On Monday, Representative McGovern (MA) and Representative Farr (CA) sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry and U.S. Special Envoy Aronson in support of the ongoing peace process in Colombia. The letter urges the negotiating parties to keep victims rights at the forefront of the talks. Signed by 65 members of the House, this is an encouraging sign that U.S. policymakers remain engaged in these critical negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC.
At a time when things have been rather uncertain in the Colombian peace process, these signs of affirmation and support are exciting to see from Congressional leaders. This has been a continual message of our advocacy efforts, from Colombian partners and from other advocacy organizations that we partner with in Washington, D.C. The people, the churches and the grassroots movements in Colombia are longing for peace. These recent signs of public support from Congress suggest that they have heard these messages.