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Ignoring Murders of Colombian Unionists, Bush Set to Honor Uribe
by via Mike Hall, AFL-CIO
Wednesday Jan 7th, 2009 8:57 AM
Tuesday, January 6, 2009 : President Bush couldn’t reward murder with a trade deal. Now he’s rewarding Colombian President Uribe with a medal. In a final flip-off to human rights activists, international trade unionists and Colombian workers, President Bush will award the United States’ highest civilian honor—the Presidential Medal of Freedom—to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
Colombia is the deadliest nation in the world for trade unionists.

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said Bush was awarding Uribe and two other honorees for:

their work to improve the lives of their citizens and for their efforts to promote democracy, human rights and peace abroad.

How’s this for Uribe’s work for “human rights and peace”?

Nearly 500 trade unionists have been murdered there since he took office in 2002. Since 1986, more than 2,600 Colombian trade unionists have been murdered: however, only a small fraction of those responsible for the crimes have been arrested, prosecuted and convicted.

Bush has long sought to win a U.S. Colombia-Free Trade Agreement for his close ally Uribe. But the AFL-CIO and a broad coalition of unions, human rights, environmental, religious and other groups have been able to mobilize enough opposition to derail Bush’s plan to Fast Track the agreement through Congress.

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