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2014 National Delegate Conference
25 February 2014

Conference condemns the persecution of Colombian unionists and political activists. 15% more trade unionists were killed in 2013 than in 2012. Congress deplores that 26 members of union backed Patriotic March, Colombia’s largest opposition movement, were killed in 2013 and many imprisoned, including two of its leaders. National Organiser Huber Ballesteros, who is also an elected Colombian TUC leader, was detained in August 2013, followed by the January 2014 arrest of Francisco Toloza, Patriotic March International Officer. Conference condemns the smear tactics used by government representatives.

UNISON congratulates the Colombian movement on the mass strikes in July and August 2013, and condemns the brutal state response, killing 16 activists and detaining hundreds. Health workers participated in the strikes.

Conference supports the courageous work of the Patriotic March to promote peace and social justice in Colombia. We support the peace process taking place between the Colombian Government and the FARC and supports civil society’s demands for inclusion, a bilateral ceasefire and security guarantees.

Conference congratulates the excellent work of Justice for Colombia (JFC) in its campaigning on union and human rights and for its groundbreaking Peace Campaign. Congress congratulates the role played by JFC in the decision of 60 MPs to vote against the Free Trade Agreement.

Conference calls on the National Executive Council to:

1)Continue to lobby at party political, parliamentary and government levels;

2)Continue to support JFC politically and economically, particularly its Peace Campaign and Political Prisoner Campaign;

3)Write to all regions and branches encouraging them to affiliate to JFC.