OTTAWA May 3, 2012 –The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) held a press conference today to release a report titled “Profiting from Repression: Canadian Investment in and Trade With Colombia”.
The report, commissioned by CUPW and authored by Asad Ismi, details the impact of Canada’s trade policies with and investment in Colombia. The author reports shocking human rights abuses linked to prominent Canadian companies. The report alleges that at least six Canadian owned companies are linked with military and paramilitary repression in Colombia and two companies in particular are linked to at least eight murders of trade unionists and human rights activists.
Ismi lays out the environmental destruction caused by Canadian mining companies. In the city of Segovia mercury vapour levels have been measured at over 1,000 times the World Health Organization’s limits, effecting a population of 150,000 Colombians. The Cauca River, which provides drinking water to 10 million people, is at serious risk of catastrophic contamination as a result of gold mining operations in the area.
The extensive 178 page report provides damning evidence of callous behaviour of some of Canada’s most prominent companies. It also details the role of the Canadian government in creating the space that allows such atrocities to continue. The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement which came into effect on August 15, 2011 is entirely aimed at increasing Canadian exploitation of Colombian resources and pays little attention to the major human rights issues overshadowing the situation. In this way the Harper Government is contributing to the implementation of a neo-colonial model of exploitation of Colombia.
For a full copy of the report, contact: Mike Palecek, National Union Representative, firstname.lastname@example.org, Office: (613) 236-7238 ext. 7919, Cell: (613) 327-7589
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is holding a press conference.
Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.
377 Bank Street (corner of Lewis/Bank)
The purpose of the press conference is to release a report commissioned by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers titled “Profiting from Repression: Canadian Investment in and Trade With Colombia”.
This report details the involvement of Canadian companies in murdering trade unionists, environmental destruction, the displacement of indigenous peoples and paramilitary activities. This damning report involves several prominent Canadian companies and raises serious questions about Canada’s trade policy.
Andres Idarraga Franco, Red Colombiana Frente a la Gran Minería Transnacional (RECLAME), Colombia, will be on hand to take questions.