The plan, to divest in companies that are assisting the ongoing genocide in Sudan, met no opposition as it weaved its way through the legislature. On Thursday, surrounded by supporters, Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law a bill that requires Colorado to divest its pension funds from companies that are assisting genocide in the African country.

“Colorado has no business supporting companies that facilitate genocide,” Ritter told the Associated Press. “Targeted investment can help ensure our pension funds are redirected in a responsible way, and by joining with other states we can send a strong message that what is happening in Darfur is unacceptable.”So far more than six states have passed similar laws, to divest in firms that are doing business with companies that are promoting the genocide, said Scott Wisor, a national field organizer with the Sudan Divestment Task Force. Another 20 are currently considering similar divestment plans. Since 2003, an estimated 400,000 people have been killed in the Darfur region of Sudan. Another 2.5 million people have been displaced from their homes.

During emotional testimony in committee last month, Sen. Peter Groff, a Democrat from Denver and co-sponsor of the bill, said, “It’s time for us to wash the blood off our hands and off our money.”

Speaker Andrew Romanoff, also a Democrat from Denver, was the primary sponsor in the House of Representatives.

Cara DeGette, a longtime journalist, is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential, and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at

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