The arrest and detention on Sunday of Colombian trade unionist Huber Ballesteros shows how little has changed in that country. It is yet another move in the government’s attempt to disrupt and frustrate both industrial action and union engagement in the developing peace process.
Huber was arrested at the headquarters of the CUT, the Colombian TUC, and has now been charged with ‘rebellion’ and providing financial assistance (from Justice for Colombia i.e. the British union movement) to terrorists. Although we are awaiting more details it appears that the prosecutors may well allege that money provided to support organising projects for agricultural workers in fact went to guerrillas, needless to say the unions involved can show exactly where their money went.