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For Immediate Release

Press Release

NlG International Committee Urges the Biden Administration to Move Swiftly to Work Positively With Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez Mina, President- And Vice-President Elect of Colombia

WASHINGTON -

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) called upon the Biden administration to act quickly to work productively with the new Colombian president and vice-president, Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez Mina, following the runoff elections on Sunday, June 19, 2022. 

In a letter addressed to President Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Juan Carlos Pinzón, the NLG notes the importance of the U.S. administration taking action to positively work with the new Colombian government and reject any attempts to subvert or undermine a peaceful transition. 

In a letter addressed to President Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Juan Carlos Pinzón, the NLG notes the importance of the U.S. administration taking action to positively work with the new Colombian government and reject any attempts to subvert or undermine a peaceful transition. It urges a change in U.S. policy that puts sovereignty and human rights first: "It is time to recognize that military aid is not what Colombia needs: Colombia needs a strengthening of institutions and humanitarian assistance which begins with US recognition of the inherent sovereignty of the Colombian people and nation-state to determine its own political and economic future."

The letter notes serious concerns that the voters and candidates of the Pacto Histórico could be subjected to violence, not only from paramilitary elements, but from sectors of the Colombian military and police, both of which are substantially supported by U.S. funding. The NLG further notes that the Colombian police and military are significant human rights violators and that the Leahy Law, which prohibits the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign security forces that violate human rights with impunity, provides us with a legal and moral framework to avoid U.S. taxpayer money from being used to support state sponsored gross human rights violations. 

The letter affirms: "We look forward to the U.S. building relationships in Latin America based on shared humanity and commitment to the democratic will of the people. Colombia is a wonderful place to start."

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The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) works to promote human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests. It was founded in 1937 as the first national, racially-integrated bar association in the U.S.

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