Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Report: U.S. Aid for Civilian Murders

The following is a release from the Fellowship of Reconciliation of an explosive new report released today.

This week, the Wikileaks "Collateral Murder" scandal has rocked the world. Its explosive findings have described a U.S. military unaccountable to its own nation's laws and human rights policy, including the deaths of hundreds of innocent Afghans. Now today, a detailed report by the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) and U.S. Office on Colombia describes how several years of U.S. funding to the Colombian military has supported army units directly responsible for at least a thousand murders of unarmed civilians.

Drawing on extensive data from the U.S. State Department, Colombian government and military, and human rights organizations, the report shows that massive military training, equipment, and intelligence provided under the rubric of "Plan Colombia" have violated U.S. human rights law and contributed to illegal killings. Next month, Colombia's human rights status will be reviewed by the State Department: Tell Secretary Clinton today to withhold Colombia's certification.

"The U.S. has provided more than $6 billion in military aid to Colombia since 2000," said John Lindsay-Poland, FOR's research and advocacy director. "This money is used to support military units that have been proven to murder innocent civilians. That is outrageous and needs to stop." U.S. law prohibits support to any foreign military unit for which there is credible evidence of having committed gross human rights violations, such as extrajudicial killings.

This forceful study also has serious implications for Pakistan, where the United States has spent more than $12 billion in military assistance and where human rights groups have reported hundreds of extrajudicial killings. The U.S. Congress, State Department, and National Security Council must take action to ensure U.S. tax dollars no longer bankroll militaries that carry out illegal executions in Colombia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mexico, or any other country! Act today: Call on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to decertify Colombia's human rights status.

Read the full report, executive summary, and see special maps of U.S. aid and rights violations: Military Assistance and Human Rights: Colombia, U.S. Accountability, and Global Implications

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