Sometime during the week of July 21, your representative will be voting on an amendment to the 2004 foreign aid bill that would cut or reduce military aid to Colombia.  The last time an amendment was offered to cut Colombia military aid, it lost by only seven votes—we are very close!  Please help make it a reality this time-- send an e-mail to your representative asking them to support the amendment.

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Sample Letter:

The Honorable__________
US House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative _______________,

As a constituent concerned about US military aid to Colombia, I urge you to support any amendment to the 2004 foreign aid bill that will cut or reduce Colombia’s military aid.  I also ask you to support treatment and prevention programs at home and alternative crop assistance for farmers who grow drug crops abroad.  I believe these are more effective ways to address drug abuse and violence.

When Congress passed Plan Colombia three years ago, it was supposed to be a plan to curb drug abuse in the US.  But drugs are just as available on US streets today as they were three years ago.  Our fumigation policy has moved drug production in the Andes around, now back into Bolivia and Peru. The brutal armed groups take advantage of fumigated farmers’ desperate circumstances by actively recruiting.  I do not believe that our policy is making Colombia or the United States more safe.

Last year, the US mission in Colombia expanded to include counter-insurgency efforts.  Representative _________, I am gravely concerned that our policy is spiraling out of control, and that our goals in Colombia are so broad and vague that it will be difficult to know when to stop.  We have already given more than $2.5 billion in taxpayer dollars to Colombia, with few tangible results.  The truth is that even billions more dollars in military aid will not solve the problem of drug abuse at home or violence abroad—and given the brutal record of Colombia’s military, it may make things worse.

I believe that there are positive ways in which the United States can help Colombia, but not through fumigation or more military aid.  I urge you to support any amendment to the 2004 foreign aid bill that will cut military aid to Colombia.  Please also support drug treatment and prevention programs at home, and alternative development programs in Colombia, so that farmers can switch to growing legal crops.  I look forward to seeing how you vote on this issue.

Sincerely,  [Name and address]

Warm Regards,