BWI wants to visit Colombia, assess human rights situation

The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) signified its intention to send a trade union delegation to Colombia to assess its deteriorating human rights situation.  

In a statement issued together with the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) and other global unions, BWI said that they want to evaluate the cases of police violence, arrests and forced disappearances in the country, particularly involving their affiliates, as a result of the Colombian government’s crackdown on the trade unions’ massive protests against poverty, police violence and inequalities in the healthcare and education systems. 

The global unions issued the statement after the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on 14 May requested the government of Colombia to visit the country and investigate the reported cases of human rights abuses. 

The protests in Colombia began on 28 April when trade unions launched big rallies against increased taxes, corruption and “healthcare reform” proposed by President Ivan Duque Marquez.

To appease the protesting workers, Duque on 2 May withdrew the proposed tax measure, even as he maintained that the said “reform” is "necessary." Despite this, the protests continued. The demonstrators said that the Duque government failed to negotiate with them concerning their other demands.  

(Photo: Chepa Beltran/LongVisual via ZUM / DPA)