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Amnesty International Toronto Write-a-Thon

Today, Amnesty International Toronto is hosting a write-a-thon for Colombia's Human Right's Day.

AI groups from around the world (including the UK, Netherlands, Spain, Peru, the US and Switzerland) will be bombarding the Colombian government with letters calling for the protection of the human rights of their citizens.

With a day devoted to human rights, it's surprising they need a reminder. Colombia has suffered from armed conflict over governmental control that has lasted over 40 years, the result of which is that the rights guaranteed in their constitution are largely ignored by military and para-military forces.

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An AI report from February of 2005 noted that, among other things, in 2004, 1,200 people were kidnapped, 287,000 people were displaced (bringing the total Colombians displaced due to the conflict to 3 million since 1985), all participants in the conflict engage in violence against women and children, all while the government neglects to implement UN recommendations to protect defenders of human rights. (Learn more about Colombia here).

(The story of one such disappeared human rights worker can be found here).

It may not seem like a lot, but AI's letter-writing campaigns have an unheard of success rate of 40%. With those kind of results, it's hard to justify not writing.

If you can't make it to the open house between 3pm and 8pm today (like me) you can go to aito.ca to learn how to help, or write to the President, the Attorney General, and the Colombian ambassador:
- Presidente de la República de Colombia, Dr. Á lvaro Uribe Vélez, Palacio de Nariño,Carrera 8 No.7-26, Bogotá, COLOMBIA
- Dr. Luis Camilo Osorio, Fiscal General de la Nación, Fiscalia General de la Nación, Diagonal 22B 52 01 (Ciudad Salite), Bogotá, COLOMBIA
- His Excellency Jorge Visbal Martelo, Ambassador for Colombia, 360 Albert Street, Suite 1002, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 7X7

Stop by the AI Toronto office between 3pm and 8pm today at 14 Dundonald St (near Yonge and Wellesley)
For more information, contact Elena Dumitru at edumitru@amnesty.ca or call (416) 363-9933 x 33.


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