On January 28th, 2015, Irish politicians will be asked to ratify a European Union Free Trade Agreement with Colombia and Peru, a necessary step by European national parliaments before it can become legally enforceable.
This is a particularly problematic time to discuss a Free Trade Agreement with Colombia. Crucial peace talks are underway and the grave human rights and humanitarian crisis has not been dealt with. You can make a difference. Add your voice to the call on the Irish government not to ratify this trade agreement. Colombia has experienced more than six decades of violence linked mostly to a deep unresolved agrarian conflict. At the heart of this conflict is land and how power is abused in Colombia. In the process, over six million people have been displaced and small farmers have been violently dispossessed from nearly seven million hectares of their own land. Agribusiness, multinationals, landlords and narco-traffickers have been behind this massive land-grab.
The current peace talks between the government and FARC rebels are addressing this agrarian question, and there is a growing consensus around the need to strengthen the small-farmers' economy. Colombians want trade but trade that works for them and doesn’t undermine local economies.
This European Free Trade Agreement would go directly against the interests of small-farmers, would undermine the peace talks and thus re-ignite conflict, having a potentially disastrous impact on the difficult efforts to secure a lasting peace settlement. Please tell TDs and Senators that human rights and sustainable development need to be at the heart of our foreign policy, by not ratifying this Agreement.
Christian Aid Ireland
Grupo Raíces (Grúpa Fréamhacha)
Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Justice for Colombia Ireland