Striking Colombian workers attacked by regime

This video from Colombia says about itself:

2004 testimony from a woman in El Placer, in the southern Colombian department of Putumayo, about being caught in the midst of conflict and U.S. anti-drug fumigation. Spanish with English subtitles.

By the Colombia Solidarity Campaign in Britain:

Colombia: 18,000 striking sugar cane cutters in grave danger

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

A stream of reports in the last 24 hours of a tense stand-off and impending confrontation between a ‘Minga’, a gathering of social movements, and the Colombian state. The conflict point is the occupation by 9,000 people of the Pan American highway in the south west. The police have attacked and in the last 24 hours killed 2 and injured over 20 protestors, but at time of writing this force have been unable to dislodge the blockade.

ONIC, the national indigenous movement reports that 18 indigenous peoples are at the point of extinction: “The systematic and repeated violations of indigenous peoples rights are evidenced in the assassination of 1,253 indigenous persons and the displacement of at least 53,885 indigenous persons in the last 6 years, the period of Álvaro Uribe‘s presidency”. ONIC has called a National Mobilisation of Indigenous and Popular Resistance with protests all over the country.

The special characteristic of the mobilisation in the south west departments of Valle and Cauca is the coming together in direct action of the mostly African descendant cane cutters, who have been on strike since 15 September (see previous Urgent Action), and the militant indigenous groups who have been occupying land to reclaim it as Madre Tierra, Mother Earth.

Supporters should send emails urging that there be a mediated solution to the stand off, to the Colombian Embassy in your country. UK Email:

For more information visit Colombia Solidarity Campaign.

See also here. And here. And here. And here.

Colombia: an inspiring battle for indigenous rights: here.

COLOMBIA: Army Chief Steps Down: here. See also here.

Colombian style murder of trade unionists in Venezuela: here.

Anti gay murders in Colombia: here.

7 thoughts on “Striking Colombian workers attacked by regime

  1. Bush asks US to look after ‘good friend’ Uribe
    Published: Saturday November 22, 2008

    Outgoing US President George W. Bush urged his successor on Saturday to continue to support Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, calling the South American conservative “a good friend.”

    “He is a strong leader. He’s a good friend. And our Congress and our government must never turn our back on a friend like Uribe,” Bush said during a speech at an APEC summit in Lima that was his last foreign trip as US leader.

    Uribe, a conservative like Bush, is Washington’s main ally in South America.

    His country has received more than five billion dollars during Bush’s eight years in office, mainly to help its military fight narcotraffickers and leftwing rebels.

    But Bush’s hopes of seeing through a bilateral free trade deal with Colombia were dashed when the US Congress adjourned without passing an agreement both countries had signed nearly two years ago.

    Bush’s successor, Barack Obama, criticized the free trade deal with Colombia as a senator, pointing to violence against labor unions. But Obama has said he supports free trade in general.

    In his own speech at the APEC summit — despite Colombia not being a member of the 21-member Asia-Pacific forum — Uribe expressed hope that the US Congress would come around to approving the trade agreement.

    Former president George Bush senior promoted the accord with Colombia, and president Bill Clinton also backed it, he noted.

    “President Bush continued with this. We trust that the US Congress will understand and pass this treaty,” Uribe said.

    “We all have to continue to work with a mixture of patience and urgency.”

    Uribe also called on APEC to admit Colombia into the club, saying doing so would further boost his country’s economic development.

    The 56-year-old Colombian president enjoyed high popularity in his country after the July rescue of politician Ingrid Betancourt from FARC rebels.

    But his stock has since fallen due to allegations his administration was linked to violent rightwing paramilitaries, and he last month lost a bid to have the constitution changed so he could run for a third term.

    Uribe has also been accused, in a declassified 1991 US Defense Intelligence Agency report, of once having been implicated in Colombia’s billion-dollar cocaine trade and of having been close friends with Pablo Escobar, the notorious drug lord who was killed in a shootout with police in 1993.

    The Colombian president has strenuously denied that claim, and the US government under Bush has distanced itself from the report.


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