Sector of European Parliament asks for the cessation of commercial negotiations with Colombia

Efe – Brussels
(Translated by Emily Hansen) – Economy
26 January, 2010 – 6:18 a.m.
           This petition was made by The Greens in response to the human rights situation.
           The Greens group in the European Parliament (PE) asked the European Commision (CE) today to cease all commercial negotiations with Colombia due to the human rights situation in the country. They also called for a profound investigation be launched regarding the assassinations of union members.
            In a communication, the ecologist members of the European Parliament denounce the collaboration of the European Union with “a country that neither respects the human rights nor the social and environmental agreements that it has made with the European Union.”
            The Greens remind that in 2009, 37 Colombian union members were assassinated.  Data indicates that these 37 assassinations represent 70% of the union assassinations in the world.
            “The efforts of Colombia to hide the deaths and present itself as a great defender of human rights is in vain,” the communication stated.
            The Greens – who are the fourth force of the European Parliament – remind that in the United States the Democrats have blocked free trade agreements with Colombia since 2006.  Similarly, in Canada and Norway negotiations are also frozen.  The Greens ask the European Union to do the same.
            “I am ashamed that the European Union, that purports to be a champion in the defense of human rights, is doing less than the United States,” said the French EU Parliament member Catherine Greze.
            Parliament believes that the current Spanish EU President wants to conclude the commercial accords to present them “as true victories” in the EU-Latin American summit in the month of May.
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