Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Write a letter or e-mail to bring the hostages home safely:


Dear ___________________:

I am writing to express my concern about the lack of action on the part of the U.S. Government to help free Thomas Howes, Marc Gonsalves and Keith Stansell, American hostages being held by the FARC guerrilla movement since February 12, 2003. Keith and Marc served their country in the U.S. Armed Forces, and Thomas has spent numerous years helping the U.S. with the war on drugs throughout Central and South America. The U.S. has given great attention to military personnel who were captured in Iraq. No less attention should be given to the situation of these three men who were working for our government in its efforts to combat drugs coming from Colombia. They are American heroes just like Pvt. Jessica Lynch and the other men and women fighting and dying for the U.S. in Iraq.  Yet while Thomas, Marc and Keith languish in a jungle prison camp and their families suffer without them back home, the U.S. Government has shown no clear signs of working to facilitate their safe release.

In light of the FARC’s proven willingness to execute hostages during rescue attempts, the only guarantee of a safe return for the men would be through a diplomatic solution. Colombia is the third largest aid recipient of the U.S., receiving more than one billion dollars over the last three years. Obviously, the U.S. government is concerned about the situation in Colombia and the civil war there that has plagued the country for four decades. Not only are these three Americans being held, but hundreds of Colombians are in the same situation of being held hostage by the FARC. The U.S. government maintains that it will not negotiate with the FARC, whom it regards as a terrorist group.  It seems that as long as the U.S. government ignores the plight of Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes and Marc Gonsalves, they will continue to rot in the jungle.  These men and their families deserve better from their country.

I urge you to:

·    Demand that the U.S. government design and implement a plan which will return the hostages safely

·    Encourage legislation that will protect Americans working for government contractors overseas in instances such
as kidnapping

·    Recognize that the term “negotiation” is not “synonymous” with concession, and that dialogues must remain open

·    Actively encourage the Colombian government to design a non-violent plan to solve the kidnapping crisis in their country






Addresses for Letter Writing Campaign to free the Hostages:


President Geroge W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500

Vice President Richard Cheney
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500

Mr. Colin Powell
Secretary of State
2201 C Street, NW
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC 20520

Mr. William Wood
U.S. Ambassador to Colombia
Carrera 45 # 22D-45
Bogotá, Colombia

Ms. Condoleezza Rice
National Security Advisor
National Security Council
Old Executive Office Building
17th Street & Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20506

Find your senator’s address on the web at www.senate.gov.

Find your congressman’s/congresswoman’s address on the web at www.house.gov/writerep/

We also encourage you to submit your thoughts to the opinion editors of your local or regional newspapers to bring attention to this case.