US trade unions protest Bush deal with Colombia’s regime, killing trade unionists

This video from Australia says about itself:

The Maritime Union joined the CFMEU and solidarity activists rallying outside the Colombian consulate in Sydney yesterday to denounce murder and torture in Colombia still top world toll.

The protest, called to coincide with International Human Rights week, was organised by the Sydney branch of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and supported by Peace and Justice for Colombia (PJFC).

It follows a recent visit by Colombian trade unionist Parmenio Poveda.

A representative of Federation of United National Agricultural workers unions (FENSUAGRO), Poveda met with unionists and solidarity activists in various cities. He outlined the systematic campaign of state-sponsored terror and human rights abuses that activists are forced to endure in Colombia

The protest heard speeches by Rita Mallia, from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Unions and Paul McAleer from the MUA. The following letter, signed by a number of trade union leaders, was hand delivered to the Colombian consul general.
To Colombian Consul, Sydney

We the undersigned, resolutely condemn attacks perpetrated against members of Trade Unions, Civil Society Organisations, Indigenous Communities and Students Groups in Colombia. We call upon the Colombian Government, as a matter of urgency, to stop the incursions on the above mentioned peoples by upholding civil liberties, social justice and the rule of law.

We note with profound regret that Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world for trade unionists. In fact, over 60% of all trade unionists killed worldwide are Colombian – a statistic that is undisputed. Violations include but are not limited to, assassinations, forced disappearances, incarcerations, torture and involuntary displacements.

The situation has been described as a “humanitarian disaster” by the United Nations and contrary to the massive public relations campaign being rolled out by the Colombian government, circumstances are not improving.

We call on the Colombia regime to enter into an agreement of political, social and industrial inclusion of the above mentioned peoples, to recognise the human rights of such peoples an to end the persecution of political and social movements in their country


Paddy Crumlin
President, International Transport Workers’ Federation
National Secretary, MUA

Ian Bray
Assistant National Secretary, MUA

Mal Tulloch
Secretary, Construction division, CFMEU

Paul McAleer
Sydney Branch Secretary, MUA

Joe Deakin
Sydney Assistant Branch Secretary, MUA

Produced by Jamie McMechan & Neil Swanson – Maritime Union of Australia

From British daily News Line:

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


US trade union federation AFL-CIO last Saturday condemned the Bush administration for seeking a free trade deal with Colombia, the most dangerous country in the world for trade union members.

The AFL-CIO said there should be no trade deal with Colombia ‘until the violence stops’.

The AFL-CIO said: ‘Over the past 22 years, more than 2,500 union members have been murdered and another 6,500 have been threatened, attacked, kidnapped, tortured or harassed in the South American state.

‘Despite a promise by Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe to crack down on violence, not one of the killers of trade unionists has been arrested.

‘Yet the Bush administration is rushing to pass a trade deal with Colombia before the November elections.’

There should be no trade deal with Colombia until the violence stops, says Luciano Sanín, director general of Colombia’s Escuela National Sindical or National Labour College.

Deathly incursion of the Colombian Uribe regime into Colombia: here.

Construction workers lead fight against police murder in Panama: here.

3 thoughts on “US trade unions protest Bush deal with Colombia’s regime, killing trade unionists

  1. Pingback: Jailed Colombian pro-democracy activist’s video smuggled out | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: British government whitewashes Colombian human rights violations | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Honduras, where most environmentalists are murdered | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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