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Exploited Labor: News & Updates
February 15, 2018
attempted assassination in Bogotá of trade unionist German Espinel of the Association of Agroecological and Mining Brotherhoods of Guamocó (AHERAMIGUA) and active member of the Patriotic March Social and Political Movement
February 13, 2018
It has been 50 days since 2,800 banana workers from ten plantations went on strike against Chiquita.
January 26, 2018
More than 1,000 palm oil workers on strike outside San Alberto, Colombia are seeking recognition as employees. As subcontracted workers, they have no rights under Colombia’s labor laws, including freedom of association and the right to negotiate working conditions.
The workers walked off the Indupalma plantation on Thursday, after 668 out of 682 palm oil workers cast their ballots for a strike in a vote observed by the regional director of the Colombia Ministry of Labor.
January 16, 2018
The US Department of Labor issued a progress assessment calling on Colombia to more fully comply with obligations outlined in the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement [of 2012], noting “lack [of] a national inspection strategy” and neglect of “associational rights of workers.” “Today’s update merely calls for continued consultation, monitoring, and assessment over the upcoming year – this is simply not good enough, given the depth of the problems and how long they have been festering. We need more proactive action and for this Administration to focus and engage with Congress to ensure all our trading partners have fair labor standards.” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), member of the Colombia Monitoring Group of the House Ways & Means Subcommitte on Trade, US Congress
January 13, 2018
In the last year, 170 leaders and social activists known for their various missions in defense of indigenous rights, coca rights substitution, Afro-Colombian rights, labor rights, and LGBTQ. The majority of violence has erupted in sectors left vacant by the guerrilla groups, which have since been invaded by paramilitary groups. Of all of these, trade unions have risen to the top in the number of the nation's homicides and victims of violence and death threats, making Colombia the most dangerous nation for union members in the world. Over the last 20 years, about 3,000 unionists have been murdered with an outrageous rate of impunity at 87 percent, with thousands of death threats never being investigated.
September 24, 2017
assassination of union leader Tomás Francisco Ochoa Salazar, of the SITRABREMEN meat-packers union in Guatemala City, and shooting injury of union member Andy Noel Godinez
August 31, 2017
excessive force by police and ESMAD (anti-riot squad) against small-scale artisanal miners in Antioquia Department organizing in resistance to Canada-based Gran Colombia Gold Corporation; two killed by police gunfire: Brando Stid Ochoa, Alexis Gregorio Acevedo
July 15, 2017
killing of labor rights defender Eugenio López y López during a peaceful protest of former agricultural workers in Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango Department
June 15, 2017 to June 24, 2017
Travel with IRTF on a delegation to Colombia with Christian Peacemaker Teams(CPT)