Take physic, pomp

A Colombian human rights abuse case that can be nipped in the bud…by YOU

Martin Sandoval: You don’t know who he is. You’ll almost certainly never meet him.
You can help him if you want. Waddya say, dudes?
So let’s see if anyone feels like caring out there today. Here’s a post from the excellent CAJA blog run by Scott Nicholson, A gringo in Colombia fighting human rights abuses at ground level. Here’s Scott’s quick CV blurb from the site:
Scott Nicholson: Scott is one of the founders of Community Action for Justice in the Americas. For the past several years, he has been working in Colombia to provide on-the-ground accompaniment to social leaders whose lives have been threatened because of their work to bring peace and basic human rights to their country.
Today, Scott posts that his friend and collaborator Martín Sandoval has been arrested on basically trumped up charges because he’s been too vociferous in his protests about extrajudicial killings by the Colombian army (well publicized recently). Here’s how Scott’s note starts:

Dear friends,

My friend, Martin Sandoval, was arrested along with 13 other people here in the town of Arauquita on November 4. He began a hunger strike the following day in protest of those arrests.

Martin is the president of the Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in the state of Arauca. He has consistently spoken out against the human rights violations committed by the Colombian government in the state – including mass arrests and the killing of civilians who are then reported as guerrillas killed in combat. He has also forcefully denounced the abuses committed against the civilian population by the FARC and ELN guerrillas in their fight against each other in Arauca.

Martin was arrested just four days after the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, met with human rights activists in Arauca to discuss the difficult situation that they’re confronting in their work. The arrest also occurred just four weeks after the United Nations working group on arbitrary arrests visited Arauca to investigate the mass arrests that have taken place in note continues here
So, want to do something about it? Why not write a mail to your elected official? Or a quick phone call? Or how about contacting the Colombian embassy in your country? Or just pass on the link to Scott’s post to a friend…or two friends…or three (or this post if you like, though it’s better from the horse’s mouth).

It’s all well and good saying “Oh, isn’t it terrible what’s happening in Colombia”, but here’s a chance to do something that won’t eat into your day. You might even get the satisfaction of knowing that an innocent man was set free thanks to your efforts and the efforts of others.

The small victories of life all add up in the end. Go on…I dare you….take action on this one.

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