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“During our trip, there was a real sense of hope for the future, all the while acknowledging that many challenges remain lingering from past governments. NUPGE is committed to continuing, and building on, our solidarity with allies in Colombia as they organize for labour rights, human rights, and social justice.” — Jason MacLean, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer
Ottawa (28 Nov. 2022) — In July 2022, Canadian labour leaders, including representatives from the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), went to Colombia to demonstrate solidarity with Colombian labour and human rights defenders.
Organizations issue joint statement
Leaders from the Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the National Union of Public and General Employees, and the Public Service Alliance of Canada joined the Canada-Colombia Frontlines Delegation. The delegation is a multi-union initiative created to provide urgent protection and solidarity to labour movements and social movements in Colombia.
Showing solidarity during a pivotal moment in Colombia
“During our trip, there was a real sense of hope for the future, all the while acknowledging that many challenges remain lingering from past governments," said Jason MacLean, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer. "NUPGE is committed to continuing, and building on, our solidarity with allies in Colombia as they organize for labour rights, human rights, and social justice.”
Due to years of relentless attacks on trade unionists and human rights and land defenders, it was a critical moment to be in Colombia to stand in solidarity with targeted leaders. On June 19, for the first time in Columbia's 214-year history, Colombians successfully elected a progressive government, led by President Gustavo Petro, and Vice-President Francia Marquez, the first Black woman to assume power. This pivotal moment offers a sense of hope and cautious optimism to counter decades of violence and impunity.
Supporting the fight for justice
“As devastating as it was to hear of the violence and repression toward these brave young activists, it was inspiring to learn of the resistance they had shown, and to know their families continue to fight for justice for their loved ones," said Trevor King, Secretary-Treasurer of NAPE. "I was proud to be part of the solidarity efforts, and I fully support ongoing efforts by NUPGE and our Components."