Supporting efforts by the Government of Colombia to pursue peace and regional stability.

Whereas, in 2016, the Government of Colombia concluded a historic peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), aimed at addressing the root causes of the half-a-century conflict, including stark economic inequalities, the rural-urban divide, and the his- torical exclusion of Afro-Colombians, indigenous people, women, and poor farmers, and is currently working to implement these accords;

Whereas the Governments and people of the United States and Colombia have forged a resolute bond through a shared commitment to support peace, human rights, de- mocracy, the rule of law, and security throughout the hemisphere and the world, which has been bolstered by the support of hundreds of thousands of Colombian- Americans and their contributions to American life;

Whereas, in 2000, the Government of Colombia achieved an impressive national consensus to build state capacity, and the United States committed to combat organized crime, drugs, and vi ol ence through its foreign assistance pack- age in support of Plan Colombia;

Whereas Plan Colombia and its successor, Peace Colombia, have received steadfast commitments from the adminis- trations of Presidents William Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, and continuously has been strengthened by broad bipartisan support in the United States Congress;

Whereas, while the Government of Colombia contributed more than 95 percent of funds over the life of Plan Colombia, the political leadership, technical advice, military assistance, and intelligence-sharing role of the United States, along with the $11,000,000,000 appropriated by the United States Congress through Plan Colombia and Peace Colombia to combat the illicit narcotics trade and transnational organized crime, advance democratic gov- ernance, promote economic growth, and defend human rights, played a key role in transforming a nation on the brink to an increasingly peaceful and prosperous democ- racy, while also safeguarding vital United States inter- ests;

Whereas the Government of Colombia, throughout the admin- istrations of Presidents Andres Pastrana, Alvaro Uribe, Juan Manuel Santos, and Ivan Duque, has made invest- ments and shown remarkable courageous leadership, often at great cost and sacrifice, to consolidate domestic security, socioeconomic development, and the rule of law that far exceed those contributions made by the United States in Colombia;

Whereas, over the past 20 years, levels of crime and violence have subsided sharply in Colombia, with annual per cap- ita homicide rates declining from 62 per 100,000 people in 1999 to a record low of 23 per 100,000 people in 2017;

Whereas the alignment of improved security and sound eco- nomic policies has translated into steady growth in Co- lombia’s Gross Domestic Product, which increased from $86,000,000,000 in 1999 to more than $309,000,000,000 in 2017, and led to greater Foreign Direct Investment, which grew from $1,500,000,000 in 1999 to one of the highest in Latin America at an esti- mated $14,000,000,000 in 2017;

Whereas the United States and Colombia enjoy a robust eco- nomic relationship with United States goods and services trade with Colombia totaling an estimated $36,100,000,000 in 2016, supporting over 100,000 jobs in the United States;

Whereas the Government of Colombia has made impressive strides in reducing poverty during the last 15 years, with the poverty rate decreasing from 64 percent in 1999 to 27 percent in 2017, according to the World Bank;

Whereas, since 1999, the Government of Colombia has ex- panded the presence of the state across all 32 territorial departments, has contributed to the professionalism of the Colombian judiciary, and has improved the capacity of the Colombian Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Police;

Whereas Colombia is one of the United States’ most con- sistent and strategic partners through its support of United States diplomatic objectives at the United Nations and critical efforts made in the fight against transnational organized crime and increased security and rule of law overseas, including in Central America’s Northern Triangle, Afghanistan, and several countries in Africa;

Whereas Colombia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NATO in 2017 and is the first NATO partner na- tion in Latin America;

Whereas these gains are challenged by an escalating crisis in Venezuela, which has seen an influx of more than 1,200,000 Venezuelans into Colombia and the need for continued financial support to implement the peace ac- cord over the next 8 years;

Whereas the internal armed conflict has victimized all Colom- bians, including women, children, and Afro-descendant and indigenous peoples, and has led to the repeated tar- geting of leading representatives of civil society, including trade unionists, journalists, human rights defenders, and other community activists who remain at grave risk from guerrilla groups, paramilitary successor organizations, organized criminal groups, and corrupt local officials;

Whereas efforts to achieve lasting peace in Colombia must address the hardships faced by victims of the armed conflict, as exemplified by the Government of Colombia’s Law on Victims and Restitution of Land of 2011;

Whereas the prospects for national reconciliation and sustain- able peace in Colombia rely on the effective delivery of justice for victims of the conflict and the ability to hold accountable and appropriately punish perpetrators of se- rious violations of human rights and international hu- manitarian law; and

Whereas the work of Special Jurisdiction for Peace—the transitional justice mechanism created with the purpose of ensuring accountability in the context of Colombia’s internal armed conflict—is fundamental to the implemen- tation of the accords and the consolidation of peace in the country: Now, therefore, be it

Senate Resolution Peace by Anonymous UeGxFwA on Scribd