Associated Press reports:
BOGOTA, Colombia — More than 800 trade unionists have been killed in Colombia over the past six years, by government count, yet the number of those slayings solved can be counted on one hand.
Union organizing can be a deadly activity anywhere but is particularly dangerous in Colombia, where decades of political violence and lawlessness compel some unscrupulous employers to hire assassins.
“There’s almost total impunity,” says Flavio Arias, vice president of the CUT labor umbrella organization, which represents Colombia’s 530,000 unionized workers.
Now Colombia’s reputation as the deadliest place in the world to be a labor organizer threatens to sink one of President Alvaro Uribe’s proudest achievements: a free-trade agreement with President Bush, who is expected to use his visit to Colombia on Sunday to press for congressional approval.
The union-friendly Democrats who now control the U.S. Congress are so concerned about the unsolved labor killings that they are threatening to derail the trade pact entirely unless Uribe makes clear progress.
Labour laws broken in El Salvador: here.