Letter Regarding the Raid on the Offices of the Inter-Congregational Justice and Peace Commission in Bogota

Friday, May 29 1998

Sr. Alfonso Gómez Méndez
Fiscalia General
Bogota, Colombia
Fax: 011-571-320-3783

Sr. Gómez Méndez:

We strongly condemn the raid of the office of the Inter-Congregational Justice and Peace Commission by the special counter-insurgency troops from the 13th Brigade of the Armed Forces on May 13th. We strongly protest this attack against this internationally respected human rights organization.

Well known among Canadians, the work of this Commission has been recognized by the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development based in Montreal, Canada. The Commission received the John Humphrey Award in 1997. It is also a partner of the Inter- Church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America and of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

We urge you to issue a press release acknowledging that the Inter-Congregational justice and Peace Commission does not have any association with guerillera activities. We also urge you to guarantee the physical and psychological safety of the Inter-Congregational Justice and Peace Commission staff and members and those individuals who provided testamony to the “Nunca Más” report.

+François Thibodeau, c.j.m.
Human Rights Committee
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops