Antonia Urrejola Noguera
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
On behalf of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers we express our deepest concern for the brutal and atrocious events that have occurred in Colombia in the past days, and our utter rejection of armed violence in the country against its own citizens.
The order given by the President Ivan Duque’s government has resulted in the massacre of completely unarmed young people and civilians perpetrated by the Public Force. Last night in the city of Cali, several protesters were killed by the National Police.
This is an imperative call to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations to urgently intervene in Colombia to stop the bloodbath and police violence, unleashed once again during the days of the National Strike in different parts of the country.
Impunity for human rights violations, crimes promoted by the Colombian State in response to peaceful, massive demonstrations, cannot be justified. Colombia must end the violation of human rights, which continues to increase.
We understand that the best way to solve work-related issues is to have worker representation as well as collective bargaining. We therefore strengthen our call to the Colombian government to enter into dialogue, understanding the needs of the workers due to the health, economic and social crisis, the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Urgent action is needed to eliminate violence and find more just alternatives, and not through impoverishing health, fiscal, labour and pension reforms that fall on the most vulnerable population and that would further aggravate inequality in the country.
Our union, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, together with the international trade union movement, will continue to press to guarantee the protection of workers’ rights, trade union rights, the right to demonstrate and freedom of expression, and above all, the right to live.
Canadian Union of Postal Workers
CC: Mr. Iván Duque – President of Colombia