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Lutheran World Relief Speaking Tour: Luis Murillo on the Afro- Colombian Quest for Peace

Contact: C. John Hildebrand, Lutheran World Relief, 612-270-2224,


BALTIMORE, Oct. 6 /Standard Newswire/ -- From Saturday, Oct. 7 through Wednesday, Oct. 11, Lutheran World Relief (LWR) International Policy Analyst Luis Gilberto Murillo will travel throughout the Midwest speaking on "Hope for Development in the Crossfire: The Afro-Colombian Quest for Peace."


Murillo was governor of the predominantly Afro-Colombian department of Chocó from 1998 to 1999. In 2000, he was kidnapped and threatened with extortion and death. He was forced to flee Colombia with his family, receiving asylum in the U.S. where he began working in Washington, D.C. as US-Colombia Policy Coordinator and later International Policy Analyst for LWR. Murillo works to make the voices of marginalized Colombians heard in the policy debate in Washington, D.C. His work is part of LWR's efforts to build peace in Colombia through local projects backed by education and advocacy in the United States. His is one of the most active Afro-Colombian voices in the Washington, DC policy debate on Colombia.


Murillo's public speaking schedule is as follows:


·        Oct. 7: 10 a.m., Minneapolis, Minn., Resource Center of the Americas


·        Oct. 8: 12:15 p.m., Sioux Falls, S.D., First Lutheran Church, 4 p.m., Freeman, S.D., Prairie Arboretum Visitors Center


·        Oct. 9: 6:30 p.m., Iowa City, Iowa, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church


·        Oct. 10: 7 p.m., St. Peter, Minn., Gustavus Adolphus College


·        Oct. 11: Noon., St. Paul, Minn., Luther Seminary


Murillo is available for interviews during the tour; contact C. John Hildebrand at 612-270-2224 or



WHO IS LWR? Headquartered in Baltimore, Lutheran World Relief (LWR) has been responding to emergencies and disasters since its founding in 1945. Working through partners and global relief and development networks, LWR works in 35 countries to provide not only relief but to combat the causes of poverty and restore the dignity it robs from people's lives. It advocates for Fair Trade that helps farmer and artisan families earn a better income. It teaches people to better care for themselves, their communities and the environment. It teaches people how to be less vulnerable to natural disasters. It advocates with them for policy change that more fairly represents them. It counsels them after human and natural disasters and helps them recover with material aid and long-term programs. It does all of this exclusively with partners from the communities it serves.


Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), individuals and parish groups in international relief, development, advocacy and social responsibility.