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Home About Us Prisoners of Conscience Articles Charges Dropped for Ohio Activists
Charges Dropped for Ohio Activists PDF Print E-mail
Columbus, Ohio
July 9, 2002

For more info on the Ohio activists, visit theOhio Working Group on Latin America page.

Today, at the request of Senator Mike DeWine's office and the City Prosecutor, Judge Anne Taylor dismissed charges against eight human rights advocates from various Ohio cities. The eight were among ten arrested April 30 in the senator's Columbus office, while trying to schedule a face-to-face meeting with him at his convenience.

Senator DeWine (R-OH) played a prominent role in crafting Plan Colombia, which primarily consists of massive military aid and widespread toxic fumigation. Six of the ten defendants, having travelled widely in Colombia, want to share with him the concerns of Colombian civilians -- who bear the brunt of that U.S. policy toward Colombia.

Following a public outcry regarding Senator DeWine's refusal to meet with his constituents, his staff has scheduled a face-to-face meeting for August 13. Defendant Paula Ewers of Dayton said, "I think it's a shame that we had to spend 30 hours in jail to get a meeting with our senator, but we are hopeful that this meeting will be the beginning of a dialogue that can move the U.S. toward a more informed and humane policy toward Colombia."

Ewers and the other nine defendants belong to the Ohio Working Group on Latin America, whose members have tried unsuccessfully for more than two years to speak directly to Senator DeWine about the detrimental effects of U.S. military aid to Colombia. After hearing heartfelt statements from several defendants, Judge Taylor ended today's proceedings with "Let's all pray for peace in Colombia."


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