Huber Ballesteros Nominated for Prestigious Award

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Huber Ballesteros, the imprisoned CUT executive member, has been nominated for the Silver Rose award for people who advocate and campaign for the rights of the most vulnerable in society. The award is given by the Solidar network of European NGOs that seeks to advance the cause of social justice in Europe and across the World. The Solidar network has 60 member organisations based in 27 countries and past winners of the awards include various high level politicians, and human rights activists like Doreen and Neville Lawrence. In 2010 Colombia’s three trade union federations were awarded the Silver Rose.

Huber’s name has been put forward by a large number of British and international organisations – such as the TUC, and various British unions including Unite, Unison and GMB; the Trade Union Group of 255 MPs and the Parliamentary Friends of Colombia group of over 80 Westminster MPs; Lord John Monks and Greater Manchester Police Commissioner Tony Lloyd; the European Labour Party group of MEPs; the SDLP and the Northern Ireland Co-op Party; ICTU; the ETUC and EPSU -the European Federation of Public Service Union, the global trade union federations – PSI, Industriall and UNI. Together these organisations represent some 80 million European workers.

In its nomination the Trade Union group of MPs noted that several of its members had met Huber and some had visited him in prison. They wrote that “In a country where death threats are taken seriously, Huber was one of the most threatened trade union leaders. He was forced to travel everywhere with armed guards. In spite of this he was one of those who openly organised and led mass industrial action in Colombia in 2013 and it was shortly after this that he was arrested and charged with terrorism and rebellion.”

The TUCs nomination recalled “His arrest came days before he was due to address the British TUC conference as the international guest speaker. His imprisonment has been condemned by the ITUC and many Members of the UK and European Parliament.”

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