The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (Colombia FTA) went into effect in May 2012 despite the failure of the government of Colombia to meet its obligations under the “Colombian Action Plan Related to Labor Rights” (also known as the Labor Action Plan). Unfortunately, workers still face threats and violence as well as employer schemes to deprive them of direct employment and a fair opportunity to join a union. Those who attack union activists and human rights defenders still operate with near total impunity. For example, on February 28, 2013, following the firing of 110 union members from the same plantation just a month earlier, Juan Carlos Pérez Muñoz, a union organizer on La Cabaña sugar plantation was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen. The murder has not been solved and the workers have not regained their jobs. The AFL-CIO continues to work in solidarity with Colombian trade unionists to press the U.S. and Colombian governments to reform Colombia’s law and practice so that all Colombians can freely exercise their rights without risking their lives or livelihoods.
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