Documentary Screening and Discussion with Javier Orozco, Colombian Refugee and Trade Unionist Chaired by Eamonn McCann, Trade Union Representative and activist. Organised by Grupo Raíces (Grúpa Fréamhacha) and the Pat Finucane Centre. Upstairs Sandino's, Water Street, Derry, Saturday 5 November 4 pm
A meeting in Derry this Saturday (November 5th) will hear a first-hand account of human rights abuses and the repression of trade unionists in Colombia.
Javier Orozco Peñaranda is a former member of the national executive of Colombia's main trade union federation, the CUT. He has been a refugee in Spain since 2001, when a death-squad put a price on his head. He is now coordinator of a programme seeking asylum in Spain for refugees from violence in Colombia.
Javier Orozco will be speaking in Sandino’s at 4pm at a meeting organised by Grupo Raices, the Colombian solidarity organisation in Ireland. The meeting is sponsored by local trades unionists and by the campaigning human rights group the Pat Finucane Centre. It will be chaired by union representative and activist Eamonn McCann. Javier Orozco will introduce and answer questions about a film on the humanitarian crisis in Colombia made by a human rights delegation last year.
A spokesman for Grupo Raices said: “The delegation faced obstruction and serious threats while it was in Colombia. Nevertheless, it managed to cover the situation across a broad swathe of the country. In all of the places covered, they corroborated the dramatic humanitarian situation and the systematic abuse of the military and their death squads against the population.
“But most importantly, they give a voice to those who struggle every day for a just Colombia, for a new country which belongs equally to all of its offspring.
“This year has witnessed a dramatic increase in popular struggles all over the country: students, oil workers, peasants, poor communities, indigenous groups. As a result, the dirty war waged by the system has got even dirtier. Massacres are on the rise and so are military actions all over the country.”
Both the TUC and the Irish Congress of Trades Unions have joined in international appeals for an end to violence against Colombian unions, indigenous peoples and community organisations.