Colombian teacher unions killed
The number of trade unionists killed in Colombia this year is now just short of 40. Teaching union activists Zorayda Cortes Lopez and Leny Yanube Rengifo Gomeza were killed this month, bringing the total number of teachers killed, without anyone being arrested or charged for their murders, to 195.
Despite the numbers still being murdered the Colombian government has been engaged in a slick marketing campaign with a number of hired academics travelling the world to try to convince people that in fact killings of trade unionists have decreased and that those still dying are being murdered for other reasons such as ‘crimes of passion.’
The truth remains Colombia is still the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionist and the government, through their failure to protect and in many cases through their active encouragement of anti-union forces, remain deeply complicit.
The campaign against the proposed EU-Colombia free trade agreement is gathering pace as more and more people realise the contradiction of the EU talking tough on the importance of human rights at home and abroad and then being seen to reward a government such as Colombia’s with an agreement at a time when killings remain so high.