Bookmark and Share Home   »  International Programs  »  Colombia

In the Media

Colombia: Displaced Wounaan Look for Government Support in Guaranteeing Safety
by Ali RosenblattUpside Down World
(By Ali Rosenblatt, WFP Colombia Team) In Colombia, hundreds of indigenous Wounaan are living in a sports arena after being displaced from their land. "We are here in a crisis caused by the state." /En Colombia, cientos de l@s indígenas Wounaan están viviendo en un coliseo después de ser desplazados de su tierra. "Estamos acá en crisis por parte del estado." En español:
Coca-Cola’s new bottling plant threatens workers’ rights in Colombia
by Lisa TaylorLatin Correspondent
(By Lisa Taylor, WFP Colombia Team) Threatened by illegal armed groups, Colombian union leaders argue that new Coca-Cola bottling plant violates labor rights and imposes an unwanted and unsustainable vision of "development." Amenazados por grupos armados ilegales, dirigentes sindicales en Colombia argumentan que la nueva planta embotelladora de Coca-Cola viola los derechos laborales e impone una visión de "desarrollo" insostenible y no deseada.
Colombia under fire: 400 displaced following military offensive on FARC rebels in Cauca
by Julia DurantiLatin Correspondent
(Español abajo.) The final blog article from Julia Duranti as a WFP Colombia Team member: "'Not a day goes by when I don’t ask myself: "Do the lives of Afro-descendant, indigenous and campesino communities matter for this country?"' wrote Afro-Colombian leader Francia Márquez, a native of La Toma, Cauca."// El último blog/artículo de Julia Duranti como integrante del Equipo Colombia de APP “'No dejo de preguntarme cada día: "¿tienen importancia las vidas de las comunidades afros, indígenas y campesinas para este País’’'? escribó la lideresa Afrocolombiana Francia Márquez, nativa de La Toma, Cauca."
Coca Cola Workers in Colombia, 20 Year Temps, & Fighting Back Against Fast Track's More of the Same (John Walsh on Labor Radio)
WFP National Board Chair John Walsh interviewed Daniel Rueda, of the union representing Coca-Cola workers in Colombia, in Spanish and English on Labor Radio. In the same broadcast, he interviewed Robyn Gottlieb of the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, on the NAFTA-on-steroids Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).//El Presidente de la Junta Directiva Nacional de APP, John Walsh, entrevistó, en español y en inglés, a Daniel Rueda, del sindicato que representa a lxs trabajadorxs de Coca-Cola en Colombia. Otra intrevista sobre el TTP en inglés.
As Colombia ends controversial fumigations, civil society calls for reevaluation of drug war tactics
by Ali RosenblattLatin Correspondent
Ali Rosenblatt (WFP Colombia Team) finds that while President Santos' decision to suspend fumigations is a positive step, questions remain about the overall direction of the U.S.-sponsored drug war.
Beyond Ayotzinapa: How U.S. Intervention in Colombia Paved the Way for Mexico’s Human Rights Crisis
by Maggie Ervin and Julia DurantiUpside Down World
"Seeds of U.S. the Americas continue to bear fruit for powerful interests. But as a..drawing circulating in the wake of Ayotzinapa stated, 'They wanted to bury us. But they did not [sic] realize that we were also seeds.'"
The Dark Side of Development in Colombia
Check out the great new article in NACLA by WfP's Colombia team on violence in Buenaventura
Exporting Unrest to Colombia
Op-ed in Other Words by WFP Colombia Team Member Jeanine Legato. The South American country's recently enacted free-trade deal with the United States is devastating for its farmers.
Colombian Autoworker on Hunger Strike: Jorge Parra, Activist of the Week
Take Action News
January 31st, 2013
Frank Hammer speaks with David Shuster of Take Action News about the campaign for justice for injured Colombian GM workers.
Press release--Activists to deliver 76,000 petitions to GM headquarters
76,000 GM Customers and Rights Activists Call for a Just Settlement for Injured Workers. Injured Colombian Worker and Supporters Deliver Petition to GM.
Press Release: Mediation with GM fails, workers re-start hunger strike
In the wake of failed mediation with GM, ASOTRECOL has restarted their hunger strike. Witness for Peace calls on supporters to demand GM return to the negotiating table to reach a just and fair solution.
Ex-GM Workers Suspend Hunger Strike in Colombia
by Dan MolinskiFox Business/Dow Jones Newswires
A small group of former General Motors Co. (GM) employees in Colombia who sewed their mouths shut as part of a three-week hunger strike over a dispute with the auto maker have called off the strike, GM said Thursday. The hunger strike began Aug. 1 in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota. The workers claim they were fired from GM's local unit Colmotores more than a year ago due to serious on-the-job injuries sustained while lifting heavy objects and doing repetitive movements on the assembly line and other tasks.
Colombian workers from GM plant continue hunger strike outside US embassy
by Dorian MerinaFree Speech Radio News
In Bogota, Colombia workers from a General Motors plant continue their protest outside the US Embassy. Thirteen current and former workers from GM’s Colmotores plant, launched a hunger strike earlier this month after camping out outside the Embassy for a year. Some have also sewn their mouths shut. The workers say they were dismissed from the factory after being injured on the job. GM denies the claims and says no worker has been dismissed due to health reasons. Colombia remains a dangerous place for workers and labor leaders.
GM workers in Colombia sew mouths shut in protest
by Miriam WellsThe Toronto Star
Nine days into a hunger strike in which he has sewn shut his mouth, Jorge Parra, a former worker for General Motors in Colombia, says his condition is deteriorating. “I have terrible pains in my stomach, my lips are swollen and sore, and I am having problems sleeping,” he says. “But I will not give up.” The 35-year-old is one of a group of men who say they were fired after suffering severe workplace injuries at GM’s Bogota factory, Colmotores, and have taken drastic action to demand compensation.
Will Colombia's protesting workers be heard?
by Shihab RattansiInside Story Americas, Al Jazeera English
At the beginning of this month a group of former General Motors (GM) workers stitched their lips shut and began a hunger strike in the Colombian capital, Bogota. They had already spent over a year outside the US embassy with no success in fighting against what they said was their unfair dismissal. The protestors say GM has fired more than 200 employees after they reported on-the-job injuries, including herniated discs, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, at the company's Colombian plant.
Colombian Hunger Strikers Sew Mouths Shut To Protest Firing By General Motors
by Benjamin ReevesInternational Business Times
Outside of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, 13 former General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) employees are staging a hunger strike protest charging worker mistreatment by the company, and seven of those men have sewn their mouths shut. The protesting workers, part of the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-Workers of General Motors Colombia (Asotrecol), assert that they and as many as 200 other employees were fired by GM's Colombian subsidiary GM Colmotores following on-the- job injuries and that the company was responsible for "systemic negligence of the workers' health and well-being."
Martin Sheen Supports Colombian GM Workers
by Witness for Peace
In the wake of yesterday's announcement that ASOTRECOL and GM agreed to a framework for settlement of the workers' claims of illegal firings, Martin Sheen joined rights groups in calling for swift negotiations that meet the workers' demands.
Zenith City Weekly: Si quieres la paz, lucha por la justicia
by Amy Price and Lyn Clark PeggZenith City Weekly
June 12th, 2012
Lyn Clark Pegg and Amy Price report on the findings of their Witness for Peace delegation to Colombia.
DULUTH NEWS-TRIBUNE: Time to Put People Ahead of Corporate Profits
September 17th, 2011
President Obama claims that free trade will create jobs, but Bill Hardesty, chair of the board of Witness for Peace - Upper Midwest, sets the record straight.
THE HILL: Colombia trade deal doesn't pass the smell test
June 21st, 2011
Witness for Peace is featured "where lawmakers come to blog," the Hill's prominent, inside-the-Beltway Congress Blog.
PROVIDENCE JOURNAL: 'Steamlined' in Arizona
June 12th, 2011
WFP member Martin Lepkowski on immigration and trade policy reform: U.S. taxpayers can spend billions of dollars to build walls and prisons but this issue will not go away. What is needed is a just immigration-reform policy. We need a fair-trade agreement, not a free-trade agreement that continues to impoverish the poor in Mexico, forcing them to migrate.
DESERET NEWS: Trade deal harmful
May 31st, 2011
The agreement will also prove disastrous for Colombia's small farmers. If passed, subsidized U.S. grain will flood the Colombian market and leave at least 400,000 farmers without their previous source of income, writes WFP intern Kelly Miller.
GRIST: The anti-coal movement goes global
May 27th, 2011
One of the oldest examples of citizens working across national boundaries on coal issues is organizations like Witness for Peace, which has brought attention to mines in Colombia and the U.S.
SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS: No deal on trade deal
May 21st, 2011
The nefarious Colombia trade agreement would give corporate profits a small boost, but would have disastrous impacts on the working class and the environment both at home and abroad, says WFP intern Kelly Miller.
DAVIS ENTERPRISE: Nix a trade deal with Colombia
May 13th, 2011
Any trade deal that turns a blind eye toward the mass murder of workers and spurs cocaine production should be a non-starter in Washington, says WFP's Moravia de la O.
PROVIDENCE JOURNAL: Colombia free-trade deal may mean more cocaine in U.S.
May 9th, 2011
There's only one Colombian industry that can potentially employ workers who would lose their job in the wake of a free trade deal.
BALTIMORE SUN: The case against the Colombian free trade pact
May 2nd, 2011
Professor Kim Jensen compares lessons from two simultaneous delegations to Colombia: one human rights-focused and the other focused those who stand to benefit from free trade.
WSLR: Crisis in Colombia
April 22nd, 2011
Jess Hunter-Bowman outlines the scope of Colombia's displacement crisis.
KPFK RADIO: Colombian free trade deal ignores violence, faces Colombian resistance
April 12th, 2011
Witness for Peace Associate Director Jess Hunter-Bowman sheds light on the faults of the "Action Plan" and the consequences of a U.S.-Colombia FTA for workers in both countries.
May 27th, 2010
A Washington-based nonprofit, Witness for Peace, presented a letter with 1,300 signatures at Chiquita's annual meeting. The group wants Chiquita to make a formal apology and establish a multimillion dollar fund for victims of Colombian terrorism. It also asked for the Cincinnati-based produce company to fire executives who were involved in making payments to Colombian paramilitary groups.
CINCINNATI ONLINE: Chiquita asked to aid Colombia terror victims
May 27th, 2010
Chiquita's top executive pledged to consider a petition asking for reparations for potential victims of terrorists bankrolled by Chiquita.
BUSINESS COURIER OF CINCINNATI: Protesters petition Chiquita for apology
May 27th, 2010
A Washington-based nonprofit, Witness for Peace, presented a letter with 1,300 signatures at Chiquita's annual meeting. The group wants Chiquita to make a formal apology and establish a multimillion dollar fund for victims of Colombian terrorism. It also asked for the Cincinnati-based produce company to fire executives who were involved in making payments to Colombian paramilitary groups.
DEMING HEADLIGHT: Silent shifts in the Drug War
February 18th, 2010
How does President Obama compare to his predecessors expanding military aid to Latin America for the so-called "Drug War?"
PIONEER PRESS: Doing business with assassins
February 12th, 2010
Anne Holzman of St. Paul, who worked with Witness for Peace in Nicaragua in the 1980s, writes a rebuttal to an editorial calling for passage of a free trade agreement with Colombia.
HARVARD LAW REVIEW: Rise in Colombia extrajudicial killings may be linked to pressures on military
November 19th, 2009
In March 2006, Martha Giraldo returned to her father’s farm outside of Cali, Colombia, to find the property surrounded by soldiers and her father dead. Giraldo speaks about the impunity enjoyed by the government actors carrying out extrajudicial killings of Colombian civilians.
CITY BEAT: Terrorism and bananas
November 13th, 2009
Witness for Peace protesters were ready to greet investors as Chiquita held its annual stockholders meeting in downtown Cincinnati.
REGISTER CITIZEN: Hey, Congress, want to save a few million?
June 30th, 2009
Witness for Peace's Andean Regional Director, Jess Hunter-Bowman, calls on Congress to end the costly, ineffective and unethical aerial fumigation program in Colombia.
CNN: Protesters block streets as Obama, Uribe talk free trade
June 29th, 2009
President Barack Obama discussed a free trade agreement with his Colombian counterpart while scores of protesters clogged streets near the White House to demonstrate against the pact.
EL ESPECTADOR: Piden a Obama frenar Plan Colombia y TLC
April 20th, 2009
A Colombian newspaper reports on the protest in Washington, calling for a shift from military aid for Colombia to humanitarian assistance for the displaced and a continued hold on the U.S.-Colombia FTA.
EL TIEMPO: Marcha en seis ciudades de E.U. harán el lunes para protestar contra el desplazamiento en Colombia
April 19th, 2009
Colombia's largest daily, El Tiempo, reports on the U.S. activities for the National Day of Action for Peace in Colombia.
DAILY NEWS TRIBUNE: Poisoned crops and a failed drug policy
March 5th, 2009
An opinion piece by Andean Regional Director Jess Hunter-Bowman demonstrates that chemical spraying in the Amazon is a failed drug policy with terrible consequences for Colombian farmers.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS TIMES: Halt U.S. aid to Colombian military
January 14th, 2009
An opinion piece by Andean Regional Director Jess Hunter-Bowman suggests military aid to Colombia should be halted due to a reported increase in killings by the Colombian military.
BOSTON GLOBE: Past is perfect - for U.S. corporations
July 16th, 2008
A letter to the editor regarding the Colombia Free Trade Agreement by Witness for Peace supporter Avi Chomsky.