Dems play "let’s pretend" on Colombia trade pact
In a well-publicized but deceptive move, Democrats postponed a Congressional decision on the Bush trade pact with the murderous Uribe regime in Colombia. Some Democratic Party legislators intend to support the treaty when it finally comes to a vote, and a top advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton was caught taking money from Uribe to lobby for it, but they don't want to be seen doing this before the November election.
Many unions in the United States have taken up the campaign against the trade pact based on the continuing murders of hundreds of labor leaders, over 2,500 since 1985 and 400 during the 4 years of Uribe's presidency.
A similar movement in Canada is directed against a parallel Canadian treaty with Colombia. The Canadian Labor Congress points out that their government now buys coal from a corporation based in Australia that has displaced whole villages in Colombia, and engineered the killings of some who resisted. The same corporation's leaders were jailed in Australia after safety violations led to the deaths of miners, then tried to have the law changed to keep corporate officers from being held liable for the deaths of workers.
A May Day 2008 report from Amnesty International, "Killings of Trade Unionists on the Rise in Colombia," points out that top Uribe advisors have been implicated in the murders. But both U.S. corporate parties appear set to support the treaty with Uribe after the campaign is over, to boost profits at the expense of U.S. and Colombian workers.
Kevin Akin is South State Chair of the Peace and Freedom Party.