In effort to gain a Congressional passage of the Colombian FTA (Free Trade Agreement) the Colombian Government, the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) and the support of the U.S. military have all contributed to the rationalizing of substantial anti-union killings in Colombia. In 2010, Colombia alone accounted for over 40% of the entire world’s trade union killings. The desire for a FTA with the U.S., lead the Colombian government to intentionally obfuscate the truth regarding how many Colombian union members had been killed and why.
It is the U.S.’s continued policy of providing massive aid to the Colombian military which itself carries out anti-union killings and which is aligned with right-wing paramilitaries which account for the lion’s share of anti-union killings in Colombia. Wikileaks cables revealed how the AFL-CIO, which is beholden to the U.S. State Department and the U.S government, are hostile to left-wing institutions and are all indeed bent on wiping them out.
Such conduct on the part of the AFL-CIO has an adverse impact on U.S. policy. For example, in the case of Colombia, undermining the union movement in the eyes of the U.S. government only serves to undercut the cause of the U.S. and Colombian unions who desperately attempted, and succeeded for several years, to prevent passage of the Colombian FTA, largely on the grounds that Colombia should not be rewarded for anti-union violence.
Article Title: The Wikileaks Revelations The AFL-CIO and Colombia
Author: Alberto C. Ruiz
Publication: counterpunch.org, 5 January 2012
Faculty Evaluator: Cathrine Nelson, Sonoma State University
Student Researcher: Devin Bowen, Sonoma State University