The Blanket

Colombia and Uribe

Sean Smyth • 10/6/2002


Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade union leader or activist. The number of trade unionists killed in Colombia over recent years is sickening. In 2001, 184 were assassinated and already this year the ferocity of the assaults has intensified.

Broader attacks on trade union rights and freedoms are equally commonplace; this does not stop the brave men and women of Colombia struggling for basic employment and human rights that we take for granted in Europe.

Last month saw the Colombian Presidential Elections; some 54 percent of the 24 million registered voters stayed at home. Colombia’s new President Alvaro Uribe Velez is the darling of the death squads. Son of a prominent mafia boss, Uribe Velez won a decisive first round victory.

The high abstention rates left Velez with just 5.8 million votes - 24 percent of eligible voter preferences.

Uribe plans to increase military spending, double the number of troops, and create an armed militia of one million citizens.

This will most likely led to the murder of thousands of the indigenous people, and is going to prolong the armed confrontation even longer and place the country at the edge of civil war.

Colombian Solidarity Campaign are calling for a day of action on the 3rd July out side the American Counsel in Queen Street titled independence for Latin America from the USA and are inviting all NGOs and Globalise Resistance to attend the protest at 12.noon.

The author works with the Colombian Solidarity Campaign



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