In recent years, the Colombian government has signed FTAs with several countries, including the USA (implemented in May 2012), China, Canada (signed in 2008, and took effect in August 2011), the EU. It is negotiating with Israel (first round of talks was held in January 2012), Korea (since 2009), is exploring the possibility of an FTA with Costa Rica, and has concluded a joint study on an FTA with the Japanese government. Labour and human rights organizations in Canada and the US have raised concerns and opposition to FTAs with Colombia due to the deadly repression and human rights violations against Colombian trade unionists, labour organisers, Indigenous Peoples and other communities there. Such concerns have delayed the ratification of these agreements. Within Colombia, a national coalition against free trade agreements, RECALCA, has warned that these agreements further deepen the privatization and corporate control over Colombian people’s lives and the country’s natural resources. Colombian farmers have opposed the deal because of concerns of increased unfair competition with US. transnational agribusiness and the devastation this will cause local producers. RECALCA has also warned that a proposed FTA with Korea could badly impact Colombia’s auto sector with resulting job losses.
last update: May 2012
The Colombian government has set an ambitious goal to double the country’s agricultural land in half a decade, starting from 2015, to make the most of free trade agreements (FTA) signed with countries around the world, particularly the United States.
Colombian farmers agreed on Friday to halt an 11-day strike that had threatened to damage President Juan Manuel Santos’s re-election campaign with just over two weeks left before the election.
Colombian authorities have announced that 61 policemen and 66 farmers have been injured as a result of recent confrontations during the ongoing nationwide agrarian strikes adding that they do not know who is using weapons.
One of Colombia’s largest leftist collective, farmers, indigenous people and Afro-Colombians, united in the so-called Agrarian Summit (Cumbre Agraria Campesina Etnica y Popular) has joined ongoing strikes carried out by farmers, miners and truckers in Colombia’s countryside.
Farmers and their supporters in Colombia are protesting the so-called free trade agreements that would likely eliminate their livelihoods
Agrarian strikes, protests, and road blockades are sweeping Colombia this week as peasants voice outrage at the "free trade" policies, backed by the Colombian government, that they say are exacerbating the country’s crisis of rural poverty.
While Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos criticizes Nicolás Maduro of neighboring Venezuela for repressive tactics, he himself has now ordered armed troops, armored vehicles and gendarmerie agents onto the streets of the Colombian capital to disperse demonstrators.
The Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica ratified a free trade agreement with Colombia on Thursday night that covers approximately 70 percent of exports from both countries, according to an official source on Friday.
Colombian farmer leader César Pachón, a representative of the group Dignidad Papera, said that the movement may take to the roads to protest on April 20 against the delay in goverment compliance with agreements with the sector.
Things are getting worse and worse,” Enrique Muñoz, a 67-year-old farmer from the municipality of Cajamarca in the central Colombian department of Tolima, once known as the country’s breadbasket, said sadly.