The following letter from Colombian political prisoner Liliana Obando is from the website of the Colombia Action Network. This letter was read from the stage at the School of the Americas Protest in Georgia
Friends of the Campaign for Labor Rights,
Friends of the Colombia Action Network,
Activist Friends for Peace, Social Justice and the defense of Human Rights ,
A fraternal greeting of solidarity to all of you on my behalf and from all the other political prisoners secluded in the jails of Colombia and the United States.
With much emotion and gratitude I received in the National Women’s Penitentiary where I have been a prisoner for 3 months, your messages of solidarity and I learned of your noble intention to undertake a campaign to pressure the Colombian government for my freedom. Friends, your worry, your constant concern for the causes of Social Justice are the fuel that, in conditions like ours, as political prisoners, feeds our morale and fills our spirits so that we can continue with our work, for which the final goal is the construction of a better world, with fairness, justice and peace, with no one left out.
Friends, if the campaign is to continue to denounce the social injustices that my people suffer, and to denounce the aberrant violations of workers rights and other human rights against union members, campesinos, the indigenous, Afro-Colombian communities, students, social leaders, popular activists, human rights defenders, and the political opposition of my country, it would be welcome.
If the campaign is to serve to condemn the Colombian state for its systematic practice of “State Terror” against its people, and to reject the interference of the North American state with its military bases, with the training of military torturers and their death squads; with its military plans such as Plan Colombia, Plan Patriot and other Plans of interventionist war; and to reject its plans that strip the riches of our America and our Colombia through the “Free Trade Agreements”, it would be welcome, friends.
I am honored to be an instrument by which the world may know the reality of the more than 7,200 political prisoners in the Colombian jails and of the Colombian political prisoners extradited under rough conditions to the United States. And I am honored to be an instrument by which the world learns of our fallen dead in this absurd Dirty War of the Colombian State. For our dead, not one minute of silence, but rather, a life full of struggle!
If you friends lend us your free bodies and voices so that ours may reach to thousands of “receptive ears”, we, the political prisoners, will put our commitment, our courage, our restrained rage, toward continuing the task for a better Colombia and a better Latin America and a better world. From here, we are already working hard to pressure the Colombian government that they open the doors to a true Humanitarian Exchange of Prisoners, and for this, international pressure and support are fundamental. And we likewise pledge our continued insistence on a negotiated, political solution to the Internal Colombian Conflict. We are convinced that this is the only option to achieve a nation at peace, with social justice.