On February 17th, Colombian oil sector workers Campo Elías Ortiz, Héctor Sánchez and José Dilio Naranjo were granted parole awaiting trial.
A court ruling that struck down a detention order led yesterday to the release of three members of the Unión Sindical Obrera (USO), Héctor Sánchez, Dilio Naranjo Gualteros, and Campo Elías Ortiz. The men were being detained for offences allegedly committed during protests held in Puerto Gaitán in 2011, in the ongoing campaign to compel the multinational Pacific Rubiales and its contractors to respect labour rights.
MARMATO, Colombia — Along the dusty and winding cliffside road that climbs the mountain of Marmato, about 500 men mine for gold as it has been done for many decades.
They swing picks, push carts and hang buckets of earth on wires and pulleys to send down the mountain. Small, wood-framed mine entrances dot the face of the mountain as the buckets sling back and forth overhead and streams of grey water trickle underfoot. And if one sticks a finger into the right pile of mud, it comes out sparkling.
Three years after Canada signed a free-trade agreement with Colombia saying our country was committed to helping Colombians live “better, safer lives,” human rights activists came to Ottawa this week with a different message: Their nation is spiralling toward genocide, and some Canadian companies are reaping the benefits.
A people’s tribunal on the Canadian mining industry – the first of its kind in North America – is slated to take place in late May 2014.
This bulletin consists of an electronic version (below), but also a PDF version
A brief assessment of the first year campaign
This campaign emerged in 2011, not long before the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement came into force. At the time, social movements in both countries organized against the CCFTA. It became clear that there was a need to denounce the ways in which the Canadian state and Canadian companies profit from the Colombian conflict. Since last year, PASC has built a support network and solicited the endorsements of Quebec and Canadian unions.
The USO leaders unjustly detained in La Picota are shortly to receive a visit from a Democratic US Congressman who wishes to show his concern about the recrudescence of trade union persecution in Colombia.
On February 2011, an article in Canada’s Business Financial Post declared: “Colombia, whose rich gold deposits were once the source of the Spanish Empire’s power, is hot again… Seemingly overnight, its nearly dormant gold-mining industry has stirred to life, and the country has become a mecca for junior miners searching for the next big find.” (1)
PUBLIC COMMUNIQUE: Large Scale Mining Creates Social Division in Caramanta: Is this Corporate Social Responsibility?
December 8, 2013