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Colombia: Trade Unionists Murdered with Impunity

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Colombia: Trade Unionists Murdered with Impunity

During President Obama's 1st State of the Union Address, he emphasized strengthening trade agreements and trade relations with Asia and who he called “key partners like South Korea, Panama and Colombia”, but during a Presidential debate with Senator John McCain in 2008, then Senator Obama revealed a hesitance to sign a trade pact with Colombia because, "..labor leaders have been targeted for assassination on a fairly consistent basis and there have not been prosecutions...We have to stand for human rights and we have to make sure that violence isn't being perpetrated against workers who are just trying to organize for their rights."

According to prominent labor rights groups in Colombia, at least 2700 trade unionists were killed in Colombia since 1986. Yessika Hoyos Morales is a human rights attorney and activist from Colombia and daughter of slain union leader Dario Hoyos. She's also a founder of the group Sons and Daughters Against Impunity and for the Memory of the Fallen.

Yessika received the AFL-CIO's George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights award last year.

Her remarks were interpreted by Lupita Aguila, Program Coordinator for the U.S. Labor Education in the Americas Project (USLEAP).

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