International Call for Solidarity with Striking Sugarcane Workers in Colombia
News from Colombia |
on: Thursday, 9 October 2008
The International Union of Food Workers (IUF), a worldwide federation of over 12 million workers, has added their weight to calls to support striking sugarcane workers in Colombia. The strike, which has been running for nearly four weeks, has seen those involved violently attacked and accused of links to the illegal leftwing guerrilla group FARC.
Although most reports say that somewhere between 10 and 12,000 workers are involved the IUF, in a report on their website, say that as many as 18,000 workers are involved.
Violence and intimidation of the strikers has continued and on October 4th one of those involved, Ramon Palacios, was illegally detained in the town of Florida on the border between the departments of Cauca and Valle, where the strike is centred. Mr Palacios was driven away to a meeting with several men dressed in civilian clothes who interrogated hum for nearly four hours about who the main organisers of the strike were. This follows allegations made by a Colombian Minister that the strike has been arranged by the FARC guerrillas.
Violence has also continued with the striking cane cutters and their families being attacked yet again yesterday near the community of Villa Gorgona after ESMAD riot police fired teargas and charged picket lines. Two children were injured in the latest repression which follows on from a series of attacks reported on previously: