MADRE News

Choose a news category:

No to US Troops in Colombia

Posted on: Friday, April 13, 2012

Keywords: Colombia, Latin America and Caribbean, US Foreign Policy

Yesterday, we received a press release from our friends at La Ruta Pacífica denoucing the American troop presence in Colombia. Read their press release below:

We Do Not Want American Troops in Colombia!

Bogotá, April 12, 2012This past March 31 the Colombian media reported that more American soldiers are to be sent to Colombia. This information was previously published by the US media and by the press of the Armed Services in the United States. General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, who was Chief of US troops in Afghanistan and of the Iraq Security Transition Command, stated that he would send to Colombia senior US official “brigade commanders that had been in Iraq and Afghanistan to work with the joint forces” in Colombia. He also added that “the challenges that the Colombian army faces are no different from those faced in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The women of La Ruta Pacifica, from the perspective of feminism and pacifism denounce the foreign military presence in our country. In the same way that we opposed the US presence on seven military bases in Colombia, we similarly oppose that more US military come to advise or be advised, nor do we want them here to facilitate an “exchange of experiences.”

We Colombian women know what US troops come to Colombia for. We reject that our territories and our bodies continue to be violated by men in uniform that are said to defend the homeland, democracy and freedom. We oppose the culture of violence and of war that armies like the US army spread wherever they go.

The presence of foreign military results in a higher rate of sexual offenses against women and girls. In most cases, almost all of these offenses go unpunished because foreign forces are generally protected by the Status of Forces Agreement from legal action in the host country.

Let’s not forget that in Colombia there is a history of sexual violence committed by US military officials. The most well-known case was that of Melgar v Cundinamarca, where in 2006 a mother denounced the sexual assault of her twelve year old daughter by two North American military officials. These men returned to the US and the case remained unpunished.  In addition there would be another 35 similar cases being investigated.

Militarization increases and intensifies violence against women; the logic of the war in Colombia has shown that the lives and bodies of women are treated as entities of control and power by the different political, military and economic forces. In the context of armed conflict these violations are exacerbated but are invisible. To date there are only 29 cases of sexual violence being investigated under the law of Justice and Peace that took effect in 2005.

We do not want to feed into the logic of this war. We do not want more foreign military personnel on our lands. What we need are agreements reached between Colombians and Colombians.

We call on the National Government to be transparent about their dealings and military agreements made with other countries.

We urge the Colombian Government to make the Cooperation agreement signed with the US available in its entirety.

We demand that civil society and the international community establish a system to oversee and monitor the impacts of military presence on women and their impacts in the communities where they are based.

We demand that the National Government complies with international obligations that protect women and girls from all forms of violence and put an end to the impunity of gender-based crimes.

To read the original press release in Spanish, click here.

 


« Back to "Press Room" Next Article »



Article Tools
Increase Font Decrease Font Reset Font Print Page Email Page


Archives

"Press Room" Home November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001

Contact

Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444
EMAIL: media@madre.org

To sign up to receive MADRE media alerts, click here.

Bring MADRE to You

MADRE & Our Partners Make News