WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
2 May 2008

Colombian Women’s Delegation to Discuss Trade and Human Rights

The Washington Office on Latin America and Oxfam America will sponsor a visit to Washington on May 5-9 by two experts on Colombian labor conditions and a leader of the Afro-Colombian community.

The three women will meet with members of Congress, U.S. labor groups and non-governmental groups to offer critical perspectives on the Colombia-United States trade agreement, human rights, and the plight of Colombia’s internally displaced people. The members of the delegation are:

Clara Gomez heads the women's department of the National Labor School (ENS), an independent, internationally respected non-profit group that provides education and assistance on labor issues to working people in Colombia.

Aura Rodriguez is an economist and exeutive director of the Corporación Cactus, a Colombian non-profit that supports the rights of women working in the flower export industry.

Virgelina Chará, of Afro-Colombian descent, represents Asomujer y Trabajo, a grassroots group working with people displaced by violence. She was forced to flee her home when her son was disappeared after refusing to join paramilitary forces.

The delegation will hold two events open to the media:


Colombia's Women Leaders Speak Out:

The Free Trade Agreement, Human Rights & Labor

A panel discussion at the Washington Office on Latin America

1630 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 200

Tuesday, May 6

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.


Beyond the Flowers:

Colombian Women’s Perspectives on the U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement

A lunch briefing in Congress on the cut-flower industry

and other issues, coinciding with Mother’s Day

2255 Rayburn House Office Building

Friday, May 9

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

(A light lunch will be served.)


All three members of the delegation will be available for media interviews during the week.

To schedule an interview, please contact:

Rachel Robb, WOLA, (202) 797-2171

Laura Rusu, Oxfam America, (202) 496-1169