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Galway - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

Colombia: The World’s Most Dangerous Place to Carry a Union Card

category galway | worker & community struggles and protests | event notice author Thursday May 20, 2010 13:09author by Sarah - Galway Trades Council/ Galway One World Centre/ Amnesty / Siptu Academic Branch NUIG Report this post to the editors

Public Talk: Trade Unionists at risk in Colombia

According to the International Trade Union Confederation more than 2500 trade union activists have been killed in Colombia during the last fifteen years. Despite the fact that trade union activists in Colombia are seldom guilty of anything more than seeking to secure decent working conditions for themselves and their communities, they face severe ongoing repression including abduction, torture, intimidation and murder. There is a culture of impunity in Colombia, and those who commit these acts are seldom held accountable.
Following on from a well- attended introductory panel discussion that was held in Galway last October, Galway Trades Council and coalition of Trade Union and Human Rights campaigners are delighted to have the opportunity to host a public talk on Thursday 27th of May in the Western Hotel, Prospect Hill featuring a visiting Colombian Union Leader Jorge Gamboa.

When: Thursday 27th May 8PM
Where: The Western Hotel, Prospect Hill, Galway.

Jorge has firsthand experience of how dangerous the situation in Colombia is for those who seek to protect worker rights. In 2008 he survived an attempt on his life by a group of police officers and like many other trade union leaders has since had to resort to travelling with bodyguards despite this, his high profile means that he continues to be at great risk.

Jorge who is visiting Ireland as a guest of ICTU, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, is a member of the National Executive of CUT (the national federation of trade unions) in Colombia. In 2008 whilst in his role as leader of the Colombian Oil Workers Trade Union he led a national campaign against the privatisation of the Colombian State Oil Company and it was during this campaign that the attempt on his life was made.

This talk will focus on how Europeans, through their governments and international trade agreements, can excerpt pressure on the Colombian Government to insist that they protect the rights of trade unionists and human rights defenders. The talk will be chaired and translated by journalist Michael Mc Caughan of the Galway One World Centre. Michael formerly worked as freelance Latin American correspondent for newspapers such as the Irish Times and Guardian who spent several years working from Colombia. Michael will also provide an overview of the current political situation in the Country.

For Further Information Contact:
Sarah Clancy

This event is organised by Galway Trades Council, Amnesty International Galway , Galway One World Centre and SIPTU NUIG academic branch.

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