Harper’s Colombia cover-up
November 3, 2009
How the PM betrayed his own MPs to sign trade deal with unionist-murdering regime
The latest issue of Toronto’s Now Magazine features an article by Andrew Cash, the NDP candidate for the federal riding of Davenport. In it, he talks to many different people about the federal government’s actions in proposing and signing a trade deal with Colombia. One of those quoted is CF’s Rick Arnold:
Colombia, says, Rick Arnold of Common Frontiers, an umbrella of civil society orgs, has one of the worst human rights records in the Western hemisphere. There’s plenty of evidence that paramilitary organizations with ties to President Alvaro Uribe’s government have instituted a reign of terror over Afro-Colombian and indigenous groups in rural areas as well as unionists.
According to recent human rights reports, 474 of the latter have been murdered since Uribe came to power in 2002, over 40 of them in the first eight months of 2008.
“While the killing of unionists is well documented, others point to the fact that so many more indigenous people have been murdered,” says Arnold.
Any investigation would probably show, he says, “that lands of interest to foreign resource companies are being cleared of the indigenous population. There’s a total of 4 million displaced people in the country [of 45 million] already.”