Latin America and the Caribbean: BWI 5th Regional Conference defends democracy and regional integration

On 26-29 June, the Colombian capital hosted over 200 delegates in an event that discussed regional integration and trade union unity in the construction and timber sectors

Last 28-29 June, Bogota, the capital of Colombia, hosted the 5th Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Conference of the Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI), an event that brought together 201 participants, including trade unionists, government and company representatives from 16 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States and Europe; and with women trade union leaders comprising 26 percent of the delegation.

The choice of Bogota for the regional conference symbolised the strengthening of democracy in South America. Gustavo Petro, Colombia's first left-wing president, is committed to defending trade unions and the working class in a country still recognised by attacks on trade unionists and other human rights defenders. 

The activities on the sidelines of the event started on 26 June, with meetings of the BWI LAC Regional Committee, Women's and Youth Committees and three thematic conferences ("Women in BWI Trades", "Amazon Trade Union Network Seminar" and "Multinational Companies and Social Dialogue").  The regional event was historic as it adopted a political resolution on regional integration and Latin American trade union unity, as well as the defence of democracy, and the fight against the far right and neo-fascism, issues of extreme relevance in a region where democracy is constantly threatened and under attack.