Underreported: Anti-Union Violence in Colombia

Thursday, April 05, 2007

In mid-March, the Ohio-based banana company Chiquita Brands admitted to paying $1.7 million to Colombian right-wing death squads who have killed thousands, including union organizers. In Colombia, trade unionists and organizers who are not murdered are often threatened, attacked, or kidnapped. On Underreported, we'll find out what's behind the anti-union violence there, and how it might affect US-Colombian free trade agreements. Maria McFarland is a researcher with Human Rights Watch, and Adam Isacson is director of programs for the Center for International Policy’s Colombia Program.

Comments [2]

kale from NYC

I agree with Jorge completely. Most of the people you meet in Colombia will be the most down to earth, friendly, and honest people you will ever meet. Like Jorge, assuming he is Colombian, most Colombians I know are quick to point this out.

Just the same, when abroad, you have to remind yourself that there is a different set of rules in Colombia than you know from the US. If you don't pay attention you can find yourself in a heap of trouble. Just like the beauty is far more extreme here, so is the evil. That said, it is a marvelous country indeed. The good magic you encounter in Colombia far outweighs the bad.

It really is too bad that Colombia has been caricatured as some sort of drug kingpin home country. The war on drugs is just as responsible for this as the media.

Apr. 05 2007 02:38 PM
Jorge from Jersey City

It's a shame that when we talk about Colombia we only discuss violence, drugs, and kidnapping. From someone who went on vacation in January and took two Americans friends, the violence, the drug and the kidnapping issues are gone from Cities like Medellin & Cartagena. The warmth of the people and economic potential for this country is incredible. It's a shame that exaggerated propaganda and fear is preventing foreign companies and/or tourism from entering this nation, creating jobs, and help end the myths of this beautiful nation.

Apr. 05 2007 12:28 PM

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