European TUC Slams Colombia

Justice For Colombia News | on: Thursday, 28 May 2009

The leader of the trade union movement in Europe has accused the Colombian government of doing nothing in the face of hundreds of assassinations of trade unionists and says that President Alvaro Uribe is trying to present a false picture to the outside world of what is happening in Colombia. John Monks, the leader of the European Trade Union Confederation which represents 60 million workers from 36 European countries, also says that trade negotiations between the EU and Colombia are doing nothing to improve the situation.

Mr Monks makes the comments in a May 26th letter to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in which he points out that in Colombia "the fact is that in the trade union community alone, several hundreds of people have been assassinated in recent years, and 15 of its grass roots activists have already met a violent death in 2009, while the government does nothing." The letter also says that the situation in Colombia "is far removed from the standards of democratic normalcy" and accuses Colombian President Alvaro Uribe of falsely trying to "project an idyllic vision of his country to the outside world".

In a speech delivered the same day as the letter was sent, Mr Monks also highlighted the situation in Colombia. "We have deep concerns about violations of human and trade union rights in Colombia, which the EU's engagement in negotiating a bilateral trade agreement is not helping to resolve, but rather appears to be legitimising. This is unacceptable and we will not let this issue rest," said Monks.

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