Supporting Trade Unionists in Colombia


Last month marked a year since the beginning of peace talks between the Government and FARC guerrillas. Despite slow progress over the summer, negotiators managed to reach an historic agreement on the second point of the talks agenda. However, the abuses continue.

This month also marks three months since the unjust imprisonment of trade union leader Huber Ballesteros. JFC Director Mariela Kohon visited Huber in prison during JFC’s recent visit to Colombia to participate in the historic 5th Congress of the Patriotic Union, a political party exterminated during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Huber is in a maximum security wing, which is completely covered with no natural daylight and he is being denied the diet he needs for his diabetes. The campaign to free Huber continues, and next Tuesday (26 November) at 4pm, we will be handing in a +10k signature petition calling for his release to the Colombian embassy. Please join us – we need as many people as possible! The petition will be handed in by our Colombian colleagues at the same time. If you are able to make a donation to Huber’s legal fees please do so via our website.

Earlier in November JFC attended Unite Sector Conferences in Brighton, where FENSUAGRO GS, Alirio Garcia, spoke about the current situation and thanked Unite for its support. JFC is also launching a new film of our incredibly moving delegation to Colombia with Workers Uniting back in July, and we will soon be launching a new JFC film as well.

Since the national strike in August, 8 peasant activists have been killed – most recentlyRoberto Cortes, a Patriotic March (PM) leader from Huila. Ana Valencia, another PM member was assassinated on the 1st in the region of Quindio – bringing the total this year to 25 patriotic march activists killed.

Please continue to support our work,

Best wishes,

The JFC team.

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