From: Jessica Eby, WOLA, Washington Office on Latin America

Regarding: H. Res. 618, a bipartisan resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Donald M. Payne, sends the message that the United States honors and supports Afro-Colombians who live in precarious situations. It urges the United States and Colombia to take steps to respect the cultural, territorial, and human rights of Afro-Colombian communities. While Afro-Colombians make up more than 25 percent of Colombia's population, they are disproportionately impacted by the ongoing violence in Colombia: approximately 40 percent of Colombia's 3.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) are Afro-descendant. As an ethnic group, Afro-descendants in Colombia suffer from some of the worst socio-economic conditions in the country: an estimated 82 percent of Afro-Colombians lack access to basic public services, and 76 percent live in conditions of extreme poverty.

Call your representative TODAY, or anytime before October 12, to urge them to co-sponsor H. Res. 618. For a list of the 44 representatives already co-sponsoring this resolution, see the list below. Dial the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to be connected to your representative's office. Ask to speak with their foreign policy aide. If they are unable to take your call, leave a message. (You can even follow up with an email). If your representative is on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, your call is especially important. Click here to find out who is on the committee.

Suggested script for your call: "Hello, I'm calling to encourage Rep. __________ to co-sponsor H. Res. 618 on the plight of Afro-Colombians, a bipartisan resolution introduced by Rep. Donald Payne. Afro-Colombians are an extremely marginalized and vulnerable sector of Colombian society, and are one of the groups hit hardest by the ongoing violence, internal displacement, racial discrimination, and social and economic exclusion in Colombia. Co-sponsoring H. Res. 618 will help to honor Afro-Colombians for their contributions to society, and encourage the Colombian government to do more to end the discrimination, marginalization, and violence against them."

Your phone call can make a difference! Let your U.S. Representative know that respect for human rights in Colombia is important to you. Let us know how your calls go by emailing your call results to Jessica Eby of WOLA at  jeby@wola.org.

Good news! Rep. David Wu and Rep. David Scott, both members of the Foreign Affairs committee, signed on to co-sponsor the Afro-Colombian resolution yesterday – bringing the total number of Foreign Affairs members sponsoring or cosponsoring to 10!

That's Rep. Payne (sponsor), Rep. Carnahan, Rep. Faleomavaega, Rep. Jackson-Lee, Rep. Brad Miller, Rep. David Scott, Rep. Christopher Smith, Rep. Wexler, Rep. Wu, and Rep. Woolsey.

Total number of co-sponsors of the resolution is now 55 – and the full list of current cosponsors is below.

While 10 Foreign Affairs co-sponsors is the magic number needed for the resolution in committee, it's still crucial to have members in leadership positions on the committee supporting this in order for it to move forward, so please do keep putting in calls to the 6 people who were on the last list that went out – Meeks, Engel, Sanchez, Berman, Watson and Delahunt.

Thanks to everyone for all of your hard work!

* COSPONSORS(55), ALPHABETICAL* [followed by Cosponsors
withdrawn]: (Sort: by
date)


Rep Bishop, Sanford D.,
Jr.[GA-2]
- 10/17/2007

Rep Brown,
Corrine[FL-3]
- 9/4/2007

Rep Capuano, Michael
E.[MA-8]
- 10/22/2007

Rep Carnahan,
Russ[MO-3]
- 10/15/2007

Rep Christensen, Donna
M.[VI]
- 10/16/2007

Rep Clay, Wm.
Lacy[MO-1]
- 9/17/2007

Rep Cleaver,
Emanuel[MO-5]
- 9/4/2007

Rep Cohen,
Steve[TN-9]
- 9/4/2007

Rep Conyers, John,
Jr.[MI-14]
- 8/3/2007

Rep Costa,
Jim[CA-20]
- 10/17/2007

Rep Davis, Danny
K.[IL-7]
- 9/24/2007

Rep Doggett,
Lloyd[TX-25]
- 10/4/2007

Rep Ellison,
Keith[MN-5]
- 10/16/2007

Rep Faleomavaega, Eni
F.H.[AS]
- 10/16/2007

Rep Farr,
Sam[CA-17]
- 9/4/2007

Rep Fattah,
Chaka[PA-2]
- 10/4/2007

Rep Gonzalez, Charles
A.[TX-20]
- 9/14/2007

Rep Gordon,
Bart[TN-6]
- 10/2/2007

Rep Green,
Al[TX-9]
- 10/16/2007

Rep Grijalva, Raul
M.[AZ-7]
- 9/4/2007

Rep Gutierrez, Luis
V.[IL-4]
- 10/9/2007

Rep Hare,
Phil[IL-17]
- 9/25/2007

Rep Hastings, Alcee
L.[FL-23]
- 10/17/2007

Rep Hinchey, Maurice
D.[NY-22]
- 10/17/2007

Rep Honda, Michael
M.[CA-15]
- 8/3/2007

Rep Jackson, Jesse L.,
Jr.[IL-2]
- 10/2/2007

Rep Jackson-Lee,
Sheila[TX-18]
- 9/4/2007

Rep Jefferson, William
J.[LA-2]
- 9/4/2007

Rep Johnson, Eddie
Bernice[TX-30]
- 9/4/2007

Rep Johnson, Henry C. "Hank,"
Jr.[GA-4]
- 10/16/2007

Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn
C.[MI-13]
- 9/4/2007

Rep Kucinich, Dennis
J.[OH-10]
- 10/15/2007

Rep Langevin, James
R.[RI-2]
- 10/4/2007

Rep Lee,
Barbara[CA-9]
- 8/3/2007

Rep Lewis,
John[GA-5]
- 8/3/2007

Rep Lofgren,
Zoe[CA-16]
- 10/9/2007

Rep McGovern, James
P.[MA-3]
- 8/3/2007

Rep Meek, Kendrick
B.[FL-17]
- 10/16/2007

Rep Miller,
Brad[NC-13]
- 10/17/2007

Rep Moore,
Gwen[WI-4]
- 9/24/2007

Rep Moran, James
P.[VA-8]
- 9/4/2007

Rep Norton, Eleanor
Holmes[DC]
- 10/9/2007

Rep Price, David
E.[NC-4]
- 10/17/2007

Rep Rush, Bobby
L.[IL-1]
- 8/3/2007

Rep Schakowsky, Janice
D.[IL-9]
- 10/9/2007

Rep Scott,
David[GA-13]
- 10/22/2007

Rep Shays,
Christopher[CT-4]
- 10/9/2007

Rep Smith, Christopher
H.[NJ-4]
- 9/4/2007

Rep Solis, Hilda
L.[CA-32]
- 8/3/2007

Rep Stark, Fortney
Pete[CA-13]
- 9/5/2007

Rep Towns,
Edolphus[NY-10]
- 10/17/2007

Rep Watt, Melvin
L.[NC-12]
- 10/17/2007

Rep Wexler,
Robert[FL-19]
- 10/9/2007

Rep Woolsey, Lynn
C.[CA-6]
- 9/19/2007

Rep Wu,
David[OR-1]
- 10/22/2007


Rep Clarke, Yvette
D.[NY-11]
- 9/4/2007(withdrawn - 10/10/2007)



**************

Jessica Eby

Program Assistant for the Andes Region and Drug Policy

Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

Tel: 202-797-2171

Fax: 202-797-2172

www.wola.org