ITUC and ETUC Accuse Colombian Government of Misleading International Community
Justice For Colombia News |
on: Tuesday, 1 March 2011
The ETUC and ITUC have written to all MEPs once again calling for them to reject the EU-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on the grounds of continued abuses against Colombian trade unionists.
In a letter signed by ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow and ETUC General Secretary John Monks, dated March 1st, they refer to the ‘intensive lobbying campaign at the European Parliament by the Colombian Government in an attempt to mislead the international community.” The letter states that the lobbying is aimed at deceiving the parliament about so-called advances in the human rights situation in order to secure the ratification of the FTA.
Reference is also made to the recent ILO Mission to Colombia, saying that whilst the Colombian Embassy in Brussels has only chosen to highlight some of the mission’s conclusions, the reality is that the report ‘highlights the on-going severity of the situation for the exercise of fundamental rights in Colombia today.”
The letter quotes several points made in the report’s conclusion, in particular emphasising the ongoing level of impunity in cases of assassinations of trade unionists, “the majority of the cases have not yet been investigated nor have the perpetrators, including the intellectual authors of these crimes, been brought to justice.”
The letters ends reiterating the ETUC and ITUC opposition to the EU-Colombia FTA and calling for the European Parliament to “support the interruption of negotiations at this time and until real and significant progress has been achieved.” And warns that ‘failing to act with caution and establish respect to the fundamental internationally-recognised rights of working people will mean that trade unionists in Colombia will continue to die and those responsible for the violence will continue to enjoy impunity”.
To read more about the campaign to stop the EU-Colombia FTA and how to get involved click here