Momentum is building fast in Washington to approve the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Colombia. Just today there were two hearings in Congress about it! But we cannot let this unfair agreement move forward.
We know that a fair and humane trade agreement cannot be implemented in an environment in which union leaders are assassinated, the land rights of indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities and small-scale farmers are consistently undermined, and millions of people have been violently robbed of their homes. And we need your help today to remind our government that we should not even be considering this FTA until there are major improvements in human rights and labor conditions in Colombia.
Given the new makeup of Congress, if this agreement starts moving, it will be a tough fight to keep it from passing. So we need to get our message to President Obama and we need to do it now.
We started this emergency petition in collaboration with change.org just days ago, and we’ve already got over 5,800 signers. Now we need your help to make it much bigger—think 15,000 or even 20,000 signers—so we can really turn some heads in Washington!
Colombia now endures the largest displacement crisis in the world, with 5.2 million people living in desperate conditions after being violently evicted from their lands. This agreement would only exacerbate that crisis by encouraging more large-scale agricultural, mining and other resource extraction projects that would push many more communities off their lands and into greater poverty. And for Colombia’s small-scale farmers still living on their lands, experience with similar agreements such as NAFTA has taught us that the unjust agricultural provisions of this trade agreement will make it even harder for these already struggling families to produce enough to survive.
And what’s more? Colombia is still the most dangerous country in the world to be a trade unionist. During President Obama’s campaign in 2008, he promised to not support a FTA with Colombia until conditions improved. They haven’t. There were 52 trade unionists killed the year he made his promise and 51 killed in 2010. Now we must hold him to his word.
Please take a stand for human rights today by signing this petition and sharing it with all your networks!
Here’s the direct link to the petition for you to pass on to your friends and family: http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-us-colombia-free-trade-agreement
Thanks for all you do!