WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
15 Apr 2012 | News

Obama Clears Way for Colombia Free Trade Agreement to Move Forward

Washington, D.C.—Today, President Obama announced he is certifying Colombia’s labor action plan, clearing the way for the Free Trade Agreement. WOLA sees this as a missed opportunity to help improve labor rights in Colombia.

“WOLA is disappointed that President Obama has decided to move forward with the Free Trade Agreement without meeting his promises to workers. President Obama lost a historic opportunity to improve labor rights in Colombia, at a time when many Colombian labor rights activists are getting harassed and killed,” said Gimena Sanchez, WOLA’s Senior Associate for Colombia.

WOLA published two pieces on the issue earlier this week:

Obama poised to give presidential seal of approval to human rights violations in Colombia

From this statement, WOLA highlights that “All in all, 30 unionists were killed in Colombia last year. The National Labor School (ENS) reports that four have already been killed this year, and other trade union movements have reported additional murders (e.g., Justice for Colombia has reported six). Such killings have made Colombia, where around 3,000 unionists have been killed since 1986, the most dangerous country in the world to be a trade unionist, and if the assassination rate this year continues as it has thus far, Colombia will most certainly retain this notorious distinction.”

Obama’s Opportunity to express support for trade unions in Colombia

To contact WOLA for comment, please contact Kristel Mucino, WOLA’s Communications Director, at 617-584-1713 or [email protected].