It’s official. President Obama has betrayed his fair trade campaign promises. Today Obama and Colombian President Santos will announce a sham “deal” on labor rights issues as political cover to jumpstart a NAFTA-type trade deal with Colombia — the union-murder capitol of the world. Yes. The same outrageous deal Obama opposed as a candidate.
You can get information about
Colombian political prisoners here
With this shameful “deal,” Obama aims to serve up a triple dose of Bush NAFTA expansion poison: a deadly Colombia-Korea-Panama NAFTA expansion. The disgusting Colombia deal is a slap in the face of organized labor and its supporters, already fuming about Obama pushing Bush’s job-offshoring Korea trade deal to a vote soon. Just last year, 51 Colombian unionists were assassinated for exercising their basic human rights — more than in the rest of the world combined. Working families won’t stand for this sort of betrayal.
But it’s not only the unionists being targeted and murdered. Afro- and indigenous-Colombians leaders are also under fire. As under NAFTA, which has been shown to have displaced roughly 2.5 million rural Mexican campesinos, their communities will suffer under the trade deal. With nearly 4 million already displaced by armed groups and elite landowners, the Colombia trade deal is a human rights nightmare.
From an email received this morning from Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch
Postscript (we also received this today)
Bogotá, Colombia, April 7, 2011 - Confidential internal memos from Chiquita Brands International reveal that the banana giant benefited from its payments to Colombian paramilitary and guerrilla groups, contradicting the company's 2007 plea agreement with U.S. prosecutors, which claimed that the company had never received "any actual security services or actual security equipment in exchange for the payments." Chiquita had characterized the payments as "extortion."
Click here to see the paperwork