'Join us in demanding that the federal government impose restrictions on companies doing business in Colombia to require that human rights are respected.'
Ottawa (5 May 2010) - The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has released a new pamphlet entitled Canada-Colombia Trade Deal - Canada's Shame, condemning the agreement negotiated by the Harper government with the murderous regime that runs the crime-ridden South American country.
"It’s time for Canada to take a principled stand against violence and corruption in Colombia," says the pamphlet, which notes that the death toll in 2009 alone included 45 trade unionists and 114 indigenous women, men and children along with thousands more who were forced off their land.
"Our federal government needs to support the people of Colombia who are trying to defend their rights and their land and demand a democratic and accountable government. Join us in demanding an end to a free trade deal!" the pamphlet adds.
"Join us in demanding that the federal government impose restrictions on companies doing business in Colombia to require that human rights are respected. Join us in supporting the rights of the Colombian people."
The pamphlet, which emphasizes that Colombia remains the most dangerous place in the world for trade unionists, has been mailed to every MP in Canada's House of Commons. The trade deal is currently being studied by a parliamentary committee.
"The Colombian government does very little to either prevent or prosecute these crimes," the pamphlet says. "The government’s security forces have been complicit in the abuse of human rights alongside the paramilitary and insurrectionary forces. Many prominent politicians in the government, including President Uribe himself, have been found to have ties to the murderous paramilitaries."
Recently a mass grave containing more than 2,000 bodies was discovered outside a military base. Colombian armed forces have admitted to the killings and the previously-secret burial of the bodies.
"Conveniently ignoring human rights abuses is par for the course in Colombia," the pamphlet adds. "The Uribe government is, in many ways, rotten to the core. It has been
racked by scandal after scandal, including vote buying, bribery and the illegal wire-tapping of journalists and opposition politicians."