Please find below a statement by WOLA's director, Joy Olson, on today's debate on the passage of the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia:
"With every trade agreement there are winners and losers. WOLA opposed this agreement because the experience with similar agreements has taught us who the losers will be, those least able to bear the cost: small agricultural producers, including Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities, many of them already at risk because of Colombia's ongoing armed conflict. Furthermore, while there has been much attention on labor rights issues in the lead up to this vote, past experience also tells us that once the agreement is signed no one pays attention to what happens to the workers. Let’s be honest, this agreement will devastate some people who are already poor. If approved, supporters of this agreement can’t just say hooray and move on. They will have to deal with the consequences of this vote in Colombia, including continued labor violations and assassinations, people moving into the illicit drug trade, greater internal displacement, and out-migration."
More WOLA analysis and commentary on the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia here: http://www.wola.org/country/colombia