Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/241/24915

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 February 2002

Colombia: Workers Win Victory In Teeth Of Reaction

A DECADE of civil war in Colombia has left 300,000 people dead and two million internally displaced.

By Simon Carter

Over recent years the Colombian government has received $1.3 billion in military assistance and 300 military 'advisors' from the US. This has been facilitated through the US's 'Plan Colombia' - ostensibly to fight drug operations but in practise to bolster the weak army in its fight against the left-wing FARC and ELN guerrilla groups.

Operating out of their 42,000 square kilometre 'safe haven' in the south of the country the FARC have in the last two weeks stepped up their bombing campaign of oil pipelines and electricity pylons and car bombings in the urban areas.

The right-wing paramilitary AUC - which is closely allied to Colombia's armed forces - has also stepped up its murderous activities. And with presidential elections due in May, political violence is expected to increase.

On 5 February Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International called on US secretary of state Colin Powell to suspend assistance to the Colombian government on human rights grounds. However, the US government is asking Congress to approve a $98 million plan to protect the Cano Limon oil pipeline which pumps oil for the US firm Occidental Petroleum Corporation.

This could be the start of a stepping up of US involvement in Colombia. The US Ambassador, Anne Patterson, has said there are more than 300 sites with infrastructure of strategic importance to the US in Colombia.

Workers' struggles

THE COUNTRY'S working class (of whom only 22% are economically active) have been pulverised by the Pastrana government's capitalist policies and its war against the guerrillas.

Harsh anti-union labour laws and privatisation measures have extracted a heavy toll on the organised working class. Many public sector workers do not have the right to strike. In the last decade hundreds of union branches were forced to close, to the extent that, today, only 8% of the workforce (95,000 workers) are unionised.

Trade union leaders are regularly targeted and assassinated (3,100 since 1987) by right-wing paramilitaries.

It is all the more remarkable then that public-sector workers in the SINTRAEMCALI union, Cali, defeated government plans to privatise municipal companies.

On 24 December 2001, the government militarised the workers' plants forcibly privatising them. The union responded by occupying the CAM Tower administration offices and for the next 37 days battled with armed riot police.

Eventually, on 30 January, the government withdrew the privatisation measures and agreed not to victimise any of the workers.

Of course, the right-wing forces are expected to retaliate. During the workers' struggle 13 union members were killed and 200 arrested. But as Luis Hernandez, the union's Vice-President, says: "We will not bow down before the dark forces of paramilitarism even if that means spending the rest of our days in prison."

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 15 February 2002:

Sleazy Labour Rewards Greedy Bosses

No fees! For a living grant!

Welsh Assembly Short-Changes Students

Free Education Now! International Socialist Resistance Day of action 15 March

Resisting Exploitation

Blunkett's White Paper Reinforces Racism

Strike For The Full Claim

Capitalism Has No 'Conscience'

Colombia: Workers Win Victory In Teeth Of Reaction

Queen's golden jubilee: Last Stand Of A Feudal Relic?

Talking of gold...


 

Home   |   The Socialist 15 February 2002   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Colombia:

triangleVenezuela: resist the pro-imperialist coup!

triangleVenezuela: How can reaction and imperialism be defeated?

triangleMore bad news from media mogul Murdoch

US:

triangle"This is going to be the biggest battle we've seen in Britain for a number of years"

trianglePreparing to shape events internationally

triangleIncompetent bosses use tech to bully us

triangleThe 1929 Wall Street Crash: When the capitalist system was on its knees

Oil:

triangleDrone attacks on Saudi Arabia: Tensions ratcheted up

triangleOil firms spend $1bn fighting climate laws: 'Green New Deal' needs socialist policies

triangleTen years since Lindsey strike: when militant action stopped the 'race to the bottom'

International

International

13/11/19

Bolivia

Bolivia: Right-wing coup ousts Morales

13/11/19

Kshama Sawant

Kshama Sawant reelected in Seattle

6/11/19

Chile

End repression in Chile - freedom for soldier David Veloso

30/10/19

Chile

Chile in revolt

23/10/19

Chile

Chile: An outpouring of rage against the capitalist system

23/10/19

Kurds

Solidarity with the Kurdish people

23/10/19

Catalonia

Catalonia: Draconian prison sentences of independence leaders provokes mass protests and strikes

23/10/19

China

China at the crossroads: 70 years since the declaration of the People's Republic of China

23/10/19

Lebanon

Massive protests against Lebanon's corrupt elite

16/10/19

Kurds

Mass united action against the war on Syrian Kurds

16/10/19

Ecuador

Uprising in Ecuador forces government climbdown

16/10/19

Catalonia

Catalonia: Mass protests against punitive political jailings

10/10/19

Syria

Trump gives green light to Turkey to attack Kurds

9/10/19

Trump

Trump, impeachment and the need for an independent workers' party

9/10/19

China

Chinese revolution of 1944-49: 'The second greatest event in human history'

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999