Click here To call President Obama (202-456-1414) and ask him to say NO to the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
The human rights situation in Colombia is dire. Colombia is the most dangerous country in the world for labor unions – between 2005 and 2009, more trade unionists were killed in Colombia than in the rest of the world combined. Meanwhile, Colombia is also suffering the world’s largest crisis of internally displaced people. Over five million people, most of whom are Afro-Colombian small-scale farmers, have been forced off their land by paramilitary and guerilla groups who have seized their land for large-scale commercial agriculture, mining, and other extractive industries.
The Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), if passed by Congress, would exacerbate these crises. We know from other free trade agreements with Latin America such as NAFTA that large-scale agriculture, mining, and other resource extraction projects will push many more communities off their lands. The small-scale farmers who are able to remain on their lands will struggle even more to produce enough to survive and compete with large-scale agriculture. These agreements have also resulted in spikes in anti-union violence. If passed, the CFTA will be a disaster for human rights in Colombia.
The Obama administration is preparing to submit the CFTA to Congress for approval. Once it hits Congress, the agreement has 90 days to pass, and we have good reason to believe it will. During his presidential campaign, President Obama indicated that he would oppose the CFTA unless human rights conditions improved. While he has implemented an Action Plan with the Colombian government, its stipulations are not sufficient to protect human rights.
Click here To call President Obama TODAY and ask him not to submit the Colombia Free Trade Agreement to Congress.
Remind the President that:
-Violence toward labor unions in Colombia remains a serious problem. Ask the President to remain true to his word and not submit the CFTA to Congress until human rights in Colombia have significantly improved.
-The CFTA will exacerbate the displacement crisis in Colombia. Considering the effect that NAFTA and other free trade agreements have had on small-scale farmers, ask him not to submit the CFTA to Congress unless it sufficiently protects Colombia’s indigenous population.
-We as people of faith oppose trade agreements that favor the financial gain of corporations over well-being of the poor and most vulnerable.
Click here To call President Obama TODAY and support a just economic system for those who need it most.
“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did to me.” –Matthew 25:40
General Assembly Guidance: The 219th (2008) General Assembly directed the Presbyterian Washington Office (PWO) to continue to educate the members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and their representatives in the Congress of the United States of America about the effects of U.S. legislation on the lives of individual Colombian citizens with particular emphasis on Plan Colombia and the Free Trade Agreement .
The 215th General Assembly (2003) approved actions to:
Support efforts to strive toward international cooperation based on fair trade , respect for diversity, and common concerns for a peaceful, just, and sustainable world.
Oppose multinational actions and trade agreements that elevate rights of corporations over the right of governments and indigenous peoples to pass and enforce laws that preserve the public good and protect their citizens, economies, and environments.