Petition 80609

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US' Role in Columbia (80609-GM-R300)

Amend Resolution No. 300 as follows:  

 “Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: ‘Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:2). The Social Principles on National Power and Responsibility state, “Some nations possess more military and economic power than do others.  Upon the powerful rests responsibility to exercise their wealth and influence with restraint.  ΒΆ165   
For many years the nation of Colombia has suffered from internal conflict, which has been exacerbated by United States involvement through Plan Colombia and the
caused in part by the United States-sponsored "war on drugs." Large areas of land have been rendered unusable and crops destroyed by indiscriminate spraying of chemicals intended to destroy coca plants.  
The land rights of indigenous peoples have been violated by Colombian and American corporations exploring and drilling for oil in rain forests.
The land rights of Afro-Colombian and indigenous peoples have been violated by armed groups who violently force them off their land, as well as by Colombian and
  
  

American corporations exploring and drilling for oil in rain forests.
Paramilitary death squads that receive support from the United States spread fear among the Colombian people. Internal civil war has left 1.4 million internally displaced people in Colombia.
Paramilitary death squads regularly collude with the Colombian military, which receives millions of dollars of support each year from the United States.  These illegal armed groups spear among the Colombian people.  Internal civil war has left nearly three million internally displaced people in Colombia.  
The war against drugs United States-sponsored Plan Colombia has not succeeded in curbing the production and export of drugs from Colombia. Instead, it has created intensified sharp political and military divisions in that country.  
The present policy of the United States has only exacerbated the basic problems of poverty and decades-long armed conflict in Colombia which is poverty .  
Therefore, The United Methodist Church urges the United States government to:  

stop all current and future United States military aid to Colombia;  
    support negotiations between the Colombian government and the guerrillas to end the civil war;  
  • divert funds used for DEA military raids and crop fumigation to provide viable economic alternatives to coca production; and  
    • support Afro-Colombian and indigenous peoples' rights to self-determination and control over resources in their traditional homelands  
    
The General Conference expresses its profound concern and support for the Methodist Church in Colombia which has two local congregations in the center of the conflict.  This area has mass graves of persons murdered by the paramilitary forces who were cut into pieces.  The Methodist Church works with the Ecumenical Network of Colombia to assist people who have been displaced and provide sanctuary to people who have been persecuted.