World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Outrage over Colombia’s trade unionist expulsion

Outrage over Colombia’s expulsion of foreign trade unionists

Colombian President Uribe lied to union delegation: International unionists took part in a meeting with Uribe, where the President assured the delegation of his government's full commitment to trade union rights, and thanked them for their interest in the situation in Colombia. When they returned to the country again, they were expulsed.

03.11.2004 [Jhony Valetta, ANNCOL/CIOSL OnLine] An international trade union organisation expressed its outrage at the expulsion of four international union representatives from Colombia on 30 October and 1 November, on the order of the government of President Alvaro Uribe.

It is understood that the Uribe government has drawn up a list of trade union representatives banned from entering the country, and that this list includes persons who took part in an international solidarity mission to Colombia in September, to press the Uribe government to bring an end to the killing of Colombian trade trade unionists and the other means of anti-union repression which are rife in the country.

According to a statement by ICFTU, an international confederation that represents 148 million workers; »Colombia has had a notorious record of violence and discrimination against trade unionists over many years, with more than 50 trade unionists murdered already this year«.

The four expulsed unionists, Victor Baez Mosqueira, General Secretary of the ICFTU regional organisation for the Americas, Antonio Rodriguez Fritz of the International Transport Workers' Federation, Cameron Duncan of the Public Services International, and Rodolfo Benitez were due to attend an Americas region trade union coordination meeting.

Immigration officials detained them on arrival in the country and expelled them, in contradiction to Colombia's normal visa entry requirements. Three of them had taken part in a meeting with President Uribe during the September solidarity mission, where the President assured the delegation of his government's full commitment to trade union rights, and thanked them for their interest in the situation inside the country.

According to Spanish news agency EFE, the Director of Colombia’s secret police DAS, denied the expulsion of the foreign union leaders, saying that in order to perform other activities than tourism, a visa is obligatory.

In another development, union leaders from Great Britain, Ireland and Spain who had arrived in Colombia to attend a meeting of women trade unionists had their 60-day visas cancelled and were permitted to stay only three days in the country.

The ICFTU is writing to formally protest to President Uribe at his government's actions, which constitute a "totally unacceptable attempt to deny Colombian workers their legitimate right to international representation", according to ICFTU General Secretary Guy Ryder.

The expulsion of the trade union leaders will also be brought formally to the International Labour Organisation, which is this week examining a number of complaints from the trade union movement over attacks committed by state security forces and their paramilitary groups.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

ALSO:

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO: