Stephen Colbert: The U.S.-Colombia FTA is no joke!
  • Petitioned Stephen Colbert

This petition was delivered to:

Host, The Colbert Report
Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert: The U.S.-Colombia FTA is no joke!

    1. Walker Grooms
    2. Petition by

      Walker Grooms

      Washington, DC

This petition is not intended to result in any punishment, boycott, etc. of Stephen Colbert. He is a brilliant political satirist, and I remain an ardent fan of his. I would, however, like him to use, as a teachable moment, the instance of his poor choice of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) as part of a joke in his "Secret Service Sex Scandal" segment on his Monday, April 16th program.

The U.S.-Colombia FTA is an unwarranted concession to the Colombian government, given that the latter has not adequately improved protections for trade unionists. For the past several decades, Colombia has led the world in murders of trade unionists, most years having had more trade unionist killings than the rest of the world combined. Last year these murders numbered 30, and so far in 2012, between 4 and 6 have been killed. If Colombian CEOs, rather than trade unionists, had been killed in such great numbers every year, it seems unlikely that the FTA would have passed.

This is the furthest thing possible from a laughing matter. Most people, though, don't know about this violence, or how the FTA expresses that the U.S. government finds this level of killings "acceptable" enough to reward the Colombian government with relaxed trade restrictions. Although the U.S. and Colombia have signed a Labor Action Plan (LAP) to curb anti-union violence and other labor abuses in Colombia, the reality on the ground has not measured up to what is stipulated by the LAP. The killings continue, as do abusive forms of contracting workers.

Mr. Colbert:
Please take this opportunity to bring attention to the important issue of anti-union violence in Colombia, which part of a larger panorama of anti-civil society violence in that country. The FTA represents a grave threat to Colombian workers (as well as to other marginalized groups and to the environment itself), and it would behoove influential public figures such as yourself to make this known to the American public.

As a fellow son of the South, please stand with me on this.

Most sincerely,

-Walker Grooms
Washington, DC

For more information, see:
http://www.usleap.org/files/Colombia%20Fact%20Sheet_June2011.pdf
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/11/colombia-obamas-bloodiest-betrayal/

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    Reasons for signing

    • Lynn Wade RALEIGH, NC
      • over 2 years ago

      because it's important for everyone that 1) we not be a contributor to these terrible injustices 2) as always, that we not ,again, be deluded hypocrites of the US

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    • Vincent Gawronski BIRMINGHAM, AL
      • over 2 years ago

      There's nothing "free" about a free trade agreement without human rights and labor protections.

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    • Lynda Grooms BIRMINGHAM, AL
      • over 2 years ago

      Just as all FTAs have done, the US-Colombia FTA will just make the rich richer, the poor poorer, and an already violent country more violent. This is, indeed, no laughing matter.

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    • Julio Bedoya PORT CHESTER, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      The US-Colombia FTA will make the rich, richer and the poor, poorer. In a country where inequality is already obscene.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Freddy Castiblanco JACKSON HEIGHTS, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      USA-Colombia FTA advocates for the monopolistic behavior of the big corporations and affects local business. Tax exemptions means no public investments such as health care and education.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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