McGovern, Lewis, Schakowsky Lead 79 House Democrats Calling on Full Implementation of 2016 Colombia Peace Accords

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives James McGovern (D-MA), John Lewis (D-GA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) led 79 House Democrats in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to express their grave concern about the implementation of the 2016 Colombia Peace Accords and continuing escalation of murders and attacks against human rights defenders and social leaders.

The letter urges Secretary Pompeo to communicate unwavering American support for the three elements of the transitional justice system – the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), the Truth Commission, and the Unit to Search for the Disappeared. It also asks the Secretary to ensure coordinated, whole-of-government diplomacy with one central and consistent message: urging the Colombian government to fully implement the 2016 peace accord.

“Right now, Colombia is facing a human rights crisis at a critical time as they continue the essential process of implementing the historic peace accords which ended their decades-long war,” said Representative McGovern. “I remain deeply concerned about the recent spike in killings of human rights defenders and human rights activists. The United States Government must insist on protecting these targeted groups, and cannot turn a blind eye to the political violence which is being used against them. I urge Secretary Pompeo to vigorously press the Colombian government to carry out the measures agreed to in the peace accord, and to fully protect all human rights defenders”

“The 2016 Colombian Peace Accords provided the opportunity to bring nearly 60 years of war and violence to an end in Colombia. Peace is not easy. It takes diplomacy, resources, compromise and focus. I strongly encourage our State Department to engage with the Duque administration and work to solidify the 2016 agreement to usher in lasting peace in Colombia,” said Representative Schakowsky.

Full Text of Signed Letter (PDF)

Spanish Translation of Letter (PDF)