Forward Together

Canadian unions condemn violence in Colombia

May 11, 2021

Canadian unions stand in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of Colombian workers and citizens peacefully demonstrating since the April 28 launch of a General Strike against tax reform. The reform would have disproportionately impact the poorest people by eliminating subsidies on some public services, taxing pensions, and freezing public sector wages.

The Colombian government has responded with excessive force in the deployment of the military and police with the widespread use of live firearms, rubber bullets and tear gas against protesters. As of May 6, human rights groups report the violent death of 37 people, 1,708 cases of abusive use of force, 26 victims of eye injuries, 234 victims of physical violence and 934 arbitrary detentions.

That President Iván Duque was forced to withdraw the regressive tax reform plan is a victory for poor and middle-class citizens and the civil society protesters, but it does not absolve the Government of Colombia from taking responsibility for the violence and holding accountable the perpetrators of the human rights violations.

Canadian unions condemn this violence and support the legitimate demands of the Colombian people for:

  • The demilitarization of the urban areas and cities.
  • The dismantling of the Colombian national police riot control unit (known by its Spanish acronym ESMAD).
  • Punishment for those responsible for the brutal repression against the demonstrations.
  • Guarantees for the right of peaceful protest.
  • Start of negotiations over the Unified Emergency Plan with the National Strike Committee.

Workers everywhere deserve to live and work with dignity, and exercise their rights without fear of reprisals and state repression.

  • Forward Together
  • Statement by Bea Bruske: We must work to avoid a recession that would put many working families at risk

    September 23, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Gender Equality
  • To achieve gender equality, Canada’s decision makers must prioritize investments in care

    September 22, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Ending Discrimination
  • Equal pay for work of equal value: it’s long past the time for employers and governments to get it right on pay equity

    September 18, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Trade and International Affairs
  • Labour 20 recommendations to G20 Labour and Employment Ministers

    September 14, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Poilievre and the Conservatives can’t be trusted to stand up for workers

    September 10, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Forward Together
  • Rising interest rates mean families suffer another hit in the pocketbook

    September 7, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • A path to the middle class for millions of workers

    September 6, 2022
    Click to open the link
  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Unions pave path to the middle class for millions of Canadians

    September 5, 2022
    Click to open the link