Action Alert — April 25, 2008

Breaking Development on Colombia FTA - Act Now

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's cousin and closest political advisor has just been arrested for connections with murderous right-wing paramilitaries! This development can sink Bush's proposed Colombia NAFTA expansion. Write your representative today and urge him or her to oppose the outrageous Colombia FTA.

On Wednesday, the lies of the Bush administration and the Colombian government were laid bare as Colombian President Álvaro Uribe's cousin and closest political advisor, Mario Uribe, was arrested for his connections with murderous right-wing paramilitaries responsible for assassinations of union activists and forced displacements of Afro-Colombian and other citizens from their lands.

With your help, this development can put the final nail in the Colombia FTA's coffin. Last year's Peru FTA vote suggested that some members of Congress still don't get that it's the NAFTA model that's the problem. But even those congresspeople can't support this agreement, given the Colombian government's record of human rights violations and violence against its own people. This extraordinary new piece of evidence forces our representatives and senators to choose sides: for the FTA and murderous human rights abuses, or against the FTA and the Uribe government's reign of terror.

Take action here:

Colombia has the world's highest rate of assassinations of union leaders and activists in the world and it is now increasing relative to last year. Over 400 unionists have been killed, mostly by right-wing paramilitaries - and in some cases by the Colombian army - since the current president, Álvaro Uribe, took office. The Uribe government has signaled this horrific conduct is acceptable by prosecuting less than 3 percent of these cases.

The right-wing paramilitaries - often with the Colombian army's cooperation - have also waged a systematic campaign to violently displace Afro-Colombians from their lands so that national and international companies can exploit these rich territories. Gruesome massacres, killings of community leaders, threats and intimidation have resulted in approximately 79 percent of the Afro-Colombian population who lived on collective lands being forcibly displaced.

It's time we stop President Bush's agreement with a government leading a morally repellent campaign of murder and violence against thousands of Colombians seeking to exercise their most basic human rights.

Please take action today to make sure your representative votes NO on the Colombia FTA!

Thanks for all that you do,

Global Trade Watch

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