Europe-Colombia FTA Under Fire

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 29 April 2011

The signing of the free trade agreement between the European Union and Colombia on April 13th has been greeted with outrage across the European trade union movement. The agreement remains subject to ratification in the European parliament, and trade unions and some MEPs continue to be opposed to the ratification read more

Monument to the victims of 'Operation Genesis'. The inscription reads 'Answer'. Photo from Colectivo Sur Cacaricao Palm Oil Workers Strike

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 18 April 2011

Workers at the Palmas de Cesar palm oil company have downed tools after 40 days of negotiations failed to bring consensus with management. The strike began on Thursday 15th April as workers attempt to force the owners back to the negotiating table. The union, representing 100 workers, is asking for read more

Army Troops Arbitrarily Detain Leading FENSUAGRO Trade Union Member

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 18 April 2011

Astracatol, a union of peasant farmers affiliated to FENSUAGRO, has reported that its President, Jailer Gonzalez was arbitrarily arrested by troops of the 8th Mobile Brigade on April 16th. His arrest closely follows the killings on the 30th of March of Hector Orozco, the Vice-President of the Astracatol Chaparral section, read more

Inter American Commission of Human Rights Colombia Report

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 18 April 2011

The IACHR has released its 2010 human rights report on Colombia. In the report the Commission underlines the “continued existence of circumstantial or structural situations that, for various reasons, seriously and gravely affect the enjoyment and exercise of the basic rights enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights.” The read more

Colombian and US Unions Reject Putting US-Colombia FTA to Congress

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 17 April 2011

After meeting President Juan Manuel Santos on April 7, President Obama signalled that he would put the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) before Congress soon, after President Santos agreed to an ‘Action Plan’ that both parties are claiming will address the terrible human rights situation which is read more

La Picota Prison Political Prisoners Report Torture

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 14 April 2011

Political prisoners detained in Yard 8 of Las Acacias prison in Meta have reported abuse by guards of the Colombian prison service, INPEC. Political prisoners, including those being held on remand are often kept in the same yards as dangerous paramilitaries and other convicted criminals. Prisoners report that on the read more

Colombian Army Soldier Attacks Woman

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 14 April 2011

On the evening of April 3rd two women were assaulted in their home in La Victoria, Narino department by a soldier. A man in military uniform kidnapped them from their home, later allowing one of the women to go since she could not walk properly. The other woman was taken read more

Andres Alvarez Orozco Peasant Leader Assassinated in Antioquia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 13 April 2011

On the afternoon of April 7th 2011 peasant farmer Andres Alvarez Orozco was kidnapped and murdered by unidentified men. Mr Alvarez was the Vice-President of a local neighbourhood association. 17 local community leaders have been killed under the Santos administration so far. Three hooded men, arrived at Mr Alvarez’ house read more

Lieutenant Raul MuŮoz Update: Father of Children Killed by Army Threatened

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The father of a 14 year old girl raped, tortured, and killed by army troops has received telephone threats. His eldest daughter answered a call and heard a male voice say "Ah, you're the daughter of that son of a bitch - tell him that we've already hit him where read more

While Santos and Obama Talk Trade Union Rights, Another Trade Unionist is Killed

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Ramiro Sanchez, a leader of the ASOGRECON sub-contractors union in Boyaca, central Colombia was killed on 8th April. According to witnesses he was shot repeatedly by two men riding a motorbike as he left a union meeting in the centre of the town of Puerto Boyaca. The association had been read more

Soraya Gutierrez DAS involvement in Threats Forces Lawyers to Reject Security Detail

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 12 April 2011

CAJAR, the Colombian human rights lawyers collective, returned its security detail to the Colombian government on the 7th April protesting that their action was “the product of terror and an extreme lack of confidence that state persecution has created”. In a letter to President Santos, the lawyers collective points out read more

Oil Workers' Union Under Siege

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Several USO leaders were named in a death threat emailed to the union on April 2nd 2011. “We’re tired of your marches and strikes in the Ecopetrol centre” it read, and gave them 24 hours to leave the region. The threat was signed by ‘Commander Gonzalo’ of the Mid-Magdalena paramilitaries. read more

Political Prisonerís daughter subject to intimidation

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 11 April 2011

Trade unionist Aracely Canaveral Velez was imprisoned on 17th January 2011. Since then, her daughter, Eliana Betancourt, has been followed, harassed and threatened. Aracely is a leading figure in the Informal Workers’ Union, ASOTRACOMERCIANT, a CUT affiliate. She is also the coordinator of NEPO – a trade union and read more

Paramilitary graffiti in a destroyed school Human Rights and Victims Groups Reject Land and Victims Law

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 10 April 2011

Despite welcoming the important place in the Santos government’s agenda given over to the issue of victims of abuses and displacement, the National Movement of Victims (MOVICE) have stated that they cannot support President Santos’ much-vaunted Land and Victims Law as it stands. The Colombian government argues that the law read more

One Million Colombians March Against Government's Economic Plans

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 9 April 2011

On April 7th a million Colombians marched in several cities to protest against the programme of privatisations being put forward by the Santos government. The marches were organised by the Colombian trade union movement, and in the words of the President of the CUT, Tarcisio Mora, show that “the Colombian read more

Academics and Students in National Day of Protest

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Education sector unions affiliated to the CUT are calling a national day of protest on April 7th. There are demonstrations planned in cities across the country. The protest is against the education reforms proposed by the Santos government within the framework of its 2010-2014 “Prosperity for All” National Development Plan. read more

La Victoria Army Leaflets Put Villagers in Danger

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 5 April 2011

April 1st 2011. Villagers of La Victoria in Narino Department in Southern Colombia have reported the army distributing flyers accusing some of them of being guerrillas of the FARC’s 48th Front and recommending that they ‘demobilise’. The flyers named the supposed ‘guerrillas’, which relatives and human rights organisations say puts read more

The body of Bernardo Rios Update: Peace Community Reports Killing

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 3 April 2011

On March 22nd 2011, paramilitaries killed Bernardo Rios Londono, a 27 year-old member of the San Jose Peace Community. Bernardo, who was working outside the Community territory, had just met with the legal representative of the Community, Emilio Tuberquia. After the meeting the bus Mr Tuberquia was travelling on was read more

Army Attacks Youths in Triana

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 3 April 2011

Local human rights organisations and trade unions report that troops of the ‘Rodrigo Lloreda Caicedo’ High Mountain Battalion assaulted youths returning from an afternoon football game on 18th March 2011. As dusk fell the youngsters were walking back to their neighbourhood when they ran into the army patrol. The troops read more

Trade Unionists Killed in Militarised Zone

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 2 April 2011

The Colombian CUT has reported that on 30th March two members of ASTRACATOL, the Association of Peasant Workers of Tolima - a peasant farmers’ union affiliated to FENSUAGRO - were killed near the settlement of La Marina in Tolima. The CUT has condemned the continued assassination of the leaders of read more