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The US Office on Colombia Blog is a bilingual space to discuss important news about human rights and peace in Colombia. Several of our articles come from prominent Colombian organizations and independent journalists. We encourage you to read our articles and participate by posting comments!

El Blog de la US Office on Colombia es un espacio bilingüe para discutir asuntos importantes acerca los derechos humanos y la paz en Colombia. Muchos de nuestros artículos vienen de prominentes organizaciones colombianas y de periodistas independientes. ¡Le animamos a Usted a que lea los artículos y participe con sus comentarios!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

An Important Message from USOC  

Dearest friends, colleagues, and supporters,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today about the imminent cessation of the US Office on Colombia's day-to-day activities. After 15 years of activism, advocacy and defense of human rights for all Colombians, we will be shutting the doors of our office this December 31 due to a lack of funds. As individuals, and as an organization, we remain committed to advocating for peace with justice, an end to impunity, and respect for human rights in Colombia. Our work will continue, though it will take a new form, living on through our website, social media, and volunteer networks. We aim to strengthen our grassroots base through the Colombia Human Rights Committee and continue to inspire coordinated action on human rights concerns. We celebrate all the achievements over the years, many of which were only possible with the support and collaboration of so many of you. Among those recent accomplishments are: getting sexual violence in the context of the conflict on the agenda for US-Colombia relations, bringing light to the human rights consequences of large-scale mining in Colombia, and helping build international pressure for the defeat for the proposed expansion of military jurisdiction in Colombia.

While we are saddened, we continue to be inspired by the strength of our Colombian partners: human rights defenders, peacebuilders, campesinos, indigenous communities, women's groups and union leaders who have flourished despite daunting adversity, who lift their voices and speak truth to power every day, and who have built lasting coalitions for peace and justice. Their fortitude, creativity, and dedication not only to "the cause," but to one another and to the huge community they have created, is a continual source of inspiration.

We are also incredibly thankful to our supporters and collaborators throughout the world-from here in Washington to Brussels, London, Australia and beyond. Donors, partner organizations, interns, volunteers and our Board, past and present: you are part of an enduring movement for humanity and against oppression that we know will outlast each of us as individuals. We are grateful to know and have worked with each and every one of you.

Progress at the negotiating table gives us renewed hope for the future, but we know that much more work remains in order to secure a lasting peace with social justice. We urge you all to keep asking tough questions, to continue promoting investigation and analysis of Colombia's human rights record and U.S. policy towards Colombia, and to speak out when confronted with injustice.

In solidarity,

Dana Brown and all of USOC

Un Mensaje Importante de USOC  

Queridísimos amigos, colegas y seguidores,

Es con gran tristeza que les escribo hoy para informarles del cese inminente de las operaciones de día a día de la US Office on Colombia. Después de 15 años de activismo, promoción y defensa de los derechos humanos de todos los colombianos, estaremos cerrando las puertas de nuestra oficina este 31 de diciembre debido a insuficiencia de fondos. Como individuos y como organización, nos mantenemos comprometidos con la defensa de una paz con justicia, el fin a la impunidad y el respeto a los derechos humanos en Colombia. Nuestro trabajo va a continuar, aunque tomar
á nuevas formas, continuando a través de nuestra página web, las redes sociales y grupos de voluntarios. Nuestro objetivo es fortalecer nuestra base social a través de la Colombia Human Rights Committee y continuar inspirando acciones coordinadas para enfrentar problemas de derechos humanos. Al mismo tiempo, celebramos todos los logros de USOC a lo largo de los años, muchos de los cuales sólo fueron posibles con el apoyo y la colaboración de muchos de ustedes. Entre los logros más recientes están: haber conseguido que la violencia sexual en el contexto del conflicto armado se considere en la agenda de las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Colombia, subrayar y señalar las consecuencias de derechos humanos de la minería a gran escala en Colombia, y ayudar a construir presión internacional para la derrota de la propuesta para reformar el fuero militar en Colombia, entre otras cosas.

Aunque esta situación nos entristece, seguimos encontrando una alentadora inspiración en la fuerza de nuestros colegas colombianos: defensores de los derechos humanos, constructores de la paz, campesinos, comunidades indígenas, grupos de mujeres y dirigentes sindicales que han luchado a pesar de un ambiente de adversidad de enormes proporciones. Estas son personas que levantan sus voces y se enfrentan al poder con la verdad, y que han construido coaliciones duraderas para abogar por la paz y la justicia. Su fortaleza, creatividad y dedicación, no sólo a " la causa", sino también el uno al otro y a la inmensa comunidad que han creado, es una continua fuente de inspiración.

También estamos muy agradecidos con nuestros colegas y colaboradores en todo el mundo - en Washington, Bruselas, Londres, Australia y más allá. A nuestros antiguos y actuales donantes, organizaciones aliadas, pasantes, voluntarios y a nuestra Junta Directiva--ustedes son parte de un movimiento permanente por la humanidad y en contra de la opresión que sabemos que durar
á más que cada uno de nosotros como individuos. Estamos muy agradecidos de haberlos conocido y de haber podido trabajar con cada uno de ustedes.

El actual progreso en la mesa de negociación nos da una renovada esperanza para el futuro, pero sabemos que queda mucho por hacer a fin de asegurar una paz duradera con justicia social. Les instamos a todos ustedes a seguir haciendo preguntas difíciles, a continuar promoviendo la investigación y el análisis de los derechos humanos en Colombia y la política de EE.UU. hacia Colombia, y de elevar sus voces cuando se enfrentan con injusticia.

En solidaridad,

Dana Brown y el equipo de USOC


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