In Colombia, Free Trade Brings More Poverty and More Killings

By David Bacon, Truthout The free trade agreement (FTA) between the US and Colombia, which took effect on May 15, 2012, hadn’t yet reached its second birthday when the office of the public workers’ union in Cali, SINTRAEMCALI, was firebombed. On April 11 a Colombian court had ordered the country’s government to apologize for attacking the union, along with that of the telephone workers, SINTRATELEFONOS, and university workers, SINTRAUNICOL, during the past administration of President Alvaro Uribe, who signed the trade agreement. The bombs were thrown five days later. In 2004, a large number of SINTRAEMCALI workers were fired, and over the years since 15 were forced to flee Cali, eight were murdered and over 100 more threatened. Last year, a leader of the city union’s retirees’ organization, Luis Fabio Campo Rodriguez, was murdered, and the union’s past president, Alexander Lopez Maya, was revealed as the target of a government assassination...

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