Here is the translated text of a note that an audience member passed to me two weeks ago in the Ecuadorian border town of Barranca Bermeja, Ecuador, after Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) visited and held a meeting with community leaders. Barranca Bermeja has been hit hard by the violence across the river in Putumayo, Colombia, with all armed groups making constant incursions and a steady flow of Colombian refugees seeking a safer place to live.
The note follows:
I ask the favor that you tell the new government of the United States that it should change that Plan Colombia. That it not send us any more weapons, airplanes or helicopters, and that the money it invests in such things be invested in agricultural projects. And that together with the Colombian government, that it give security to the campesinos so that they may return to their farms and their productive projects like cattle-raising, fish-farming and crops that we can export. But these crops must be profitable in order to combat coca and narcotrafficking. Thank you.
Well said, “Yen B.” Happy to share it.