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‘Human rights crisis’

Unite’s Tommy Murphy on fighting for justice for Colombia
Hajera Blagg, Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Speaking in support of a motion on Colombia, Unite delegate Tommy Murphy highlighted the severe crisis around human rights in the country as well as the slow implementation of the peace agreement.



“Despite the commitment of the Colombian government to uphold the peace process, and a recognition by President Duque of the right to peaceful protest we are still seeing a very dangerous situation facing all those who speak out for justice in Colombia,” he explained.



Tommy noted that the Unite’s sister union in Workers Uniting, Fensuagro, have been among the worst hit.



“Fensuagro have had over 30 members murdered since the peace process began, suffered attacks and threats and forcibly displaced by armed groups, and their leader Huber Ballesteros spent 4 years in jail on trumped up charges,” he said.



Tommy said he was proud all the work Workers Uniting and other campaign groups involved in the trade union movement such as Justice for Colombia have done to support the peace process, but he added that more must be done and international pressure will be at the heart of their efforts.



He urged Congress, “Do not take your eye off the ball – the crisis facing trade unions and human rights activists in Colombia is far from over, but is actually deteriorating – so we need to redouble our efforts.



“Unite will continue to condemn the persecution of Colombian trade unionists, civil society, social movements and political activists, and support the CUT in their demand that the peace agreement is fully implemented,” he added.



“Unite will also continue to work with Justice for Colombia on its campaigning on Trade Union and human rights which is inseparable from its ground breaking and crucial peace monitoring work.”



The motion was carried.


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