April 4, Detroit: Peace in Colombia – What does this mean for unionists and agricultural workers?

nidia-quinteiroA Tour featuring Nidia Quintero, General Secretary of FENSUAGRO, Colombia’s largest federation of agricultural workers unions.
April 1 – 8, 2016

April 4: 7pm, Moratorium Now! Meeting, 5920 Second Ave., Detroit, MI.
Sponsored by the Alliance for Global Justice
for more information please contact James Jordan at James@afgj.org

Colombia and all the world is hopeful that peace accords will be reached soon to end more than 50 years of civil war. But despite the progress that has been made, Colombia still is the most dangerous place in the world to be a unionist. Assaults against human rights defenders have spiked in recent years. Fensuagro is the largest labor organization in the Marcha Patriótica (Patriotic March) political movement. In the four years it has existed, 112 of its leaders have been assassinated. Between February 27 and March 11, 2016, 29 popular movement leaders have been killed, several of them connected to Fensuagro and/or the Marcha Patriótica.

Colombia has had peace agreements before that have been sabotaged by extreme right wing violence. Popular movements in Colombia have said international awareness is essential for this peace to be just and durable. Nidia will discuss both the aspirations and fears of rural workers and all workers in Colombia.

Nidia comes from a farming family that was displaced because of the armed conflict in the department of Cauca. She relocated to Putumayo, where she and her family became community and labor organizers. Fifteen of her fellow organizers were assassinated for their activities between 2000 and 2004. These included both her husband, a union leader who was killed on May 20, 2002 and, ten days later, her 19 year old son who was also active in the union. In 2008 Nidia was chosen to be FENSUAGRO’s Secretary for Rural Women, and in 2010 she was elected to FENSUAGRO’s executive committee. She serves today as the federation’s General Secretary.