Yessika Hoyos Morales

It was a very great honour to meet Yessika Hoyos Morales of the Corporacion Colectivo de Abogados for lunch today.  Yessika is a deeply inspiring character and has given me the energy to pressure the government into taking a tougher line with Colombia, particularly within EU negotiations on a possible free trade agreement with the country.

I shall be asking questions of the Foreign Office about the extra-judicial killings of dozens of trades unionists in Colombia, many of which are linked to the Colombian army.

The UN High Commissioner for Human rights, Dr Navi Pillay, said last year that the Colombian army stands accused of a “crime against humanity” due to the “systematic and widespread” nature of the murders.

Yessika Hoyos Morales and Tom Watson MP

Other countries have expressed deep concern about the free trade deal. Many think that the deal will legitimise the regime in Colombia. Norwegian Finance Minister, Kristin Halvorsen has said “We are not satisfied with the way human right and fundamental labour rights are dealt with in this [free trade] agreement”.

Hilary Clinton recently told Congressional leaders that “continued violence and impunity in Colombia directed at labour and other civic leaders makes labor protection impossible to guarantee in Colombia today. Colombia must improve its efforts . The proposed US-Colombia agreement is therefore not currently on the legislative agenda in Washington”

I would like to see a similar unequivocal statement from the Foreign Office.

4 comments ↓

#1 Josh on 12.15.09 at 5:44 pm

Great Stuff Tom. Was this on a TUC/Justice for Colombia delegation?

I used to work with them all the time. It really is a bout time the UK stopped supporting the Colombian Government with military aid until they sort themselves out and stop allowing the army to get away with murder

#2 Liberal Conspiracy » Support Yessika Hoyos Morales on 12.15.09 at 6:23 pm

[...] ——— cross-posted from Tom Watson’s blog. [...]

#3 FutureGov » Useful links » links for 2009-12-16 on 12.16.09 at 2:02 pm

[...] Yessika Hoyos Morales | Tom Watson MP Spread the word (tags: tomwatson colombia foreignpolicy southamerica) [...]

#4 John on 01.21.10 at 10:00 am

Just in case you haven’t notice it Mr Watson, Corporacion Colectivo de Abogados and their representatives like Hoyos Morales, support the terrorist and drug dealers group FARC, and hand a communist flag without any ideology. They are against all institutions in Colombia as part of the old guerrilla strategy to destabilize democracy. If you really want to help countries like Colombia to overcome its HHRR problems, this is for sure no the right partner, believe me.

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