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May 21st
íPresente! Home arrow About Us arrow Videos arrow November Vigil arrow Martha Giraldo at the gates of Fort Benning
Martha Giraldo at the gates of Fort Benning PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sara Koopman   

I've posted on my blog before about Martha Giraldo and her family's very brave struggle to tell the truth about how the Colombian army killed her father, a campesino, and dressed him up to look like a "combat kill" (a so called false positive, a fake guerilla killed in combat death). As my previous posts recount, they have used video to tell their story in a powerful way that is an inspiring example for others to follow.

It was an honor for me to interpret for Martha at the Witness for Peace Colombia teach-in that happens the day before the vigil to close the School of the Americas, and to walk with her holding a banner with her father's name and photo during the funeral march held on the second day of the vigil. Martha has incredible energy and courage and is not only regularly going to court for the case against her father's killers (even after her uncle was shot in the head on the way to court), but after work organizes with other families that have faced similar losses. She brought photos of others who have been killed, like her father, and asked friends to hold them up around her as she spoke on stage (see video) in front of the main gates of Fort Benning, as we shut down the entrance to the School of the Americas.

Martha continues to be under serious death threats. Please hold her in your heart, your prayers, send her strength, however you think of these things. May we all hold each other in this struggle for justice for us all.


Update, February 19, 2010

Martha Giraldo was subjected to a chilling death threat earlier this week in Cali, Colombia. Two SUVs with tinted windows -- the vehicle of choice of Colombian assassins -- tried to run her car off of the road. As they pulled up beside her, they pulled out guns and pointed them at her. They never fired a shot, but the message was clear: we can kill you, and will, if you don't keep quiet.

Please take two minutes out of your day today to call one of the Colombia specialists at the State Department, Terry Steers-Gonzalez (202-647-4173) or Susan Sanford (202-647-3142). Here is the message Martha would like you to communicate:

I am deeply concerned for the safety of Martha Giraldo and her family in Colombia. Martha's father was killed by the Colombian military in March 2006. Members of the 3rd Brigade are currently on trial for the killing. As Martha and her family have been working to bring justice to this case, they have received threats and her uncle--a witness in the case--was shot in the head by assassins last year. This week, while Martha was driving through Cali, gunmen tried to run her off of the road and pointed their guns at her. 

Given the seriousness of this case, I ask that the State Department take a special interest in it. Please urgently communicate your concern for the safety of Martha Giraldo, and the rest of her family, to the appropriate Colombian government authorities, as they are at serious risk simply for calling for justice in the case against the killers of Martha's father.

Also, as is typical in Colombia, the trial against her father's killers has been repeatedly stalled. I urge you to inquire about the status of the trial and express the State Department's interest in its swift completion.



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written by Wholesale Jerseys, November 15, 2011
appropriate Colombian government authorities, as they are at serious risk simply for calling for justice in the case against the killers of Martha's father.
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