Prior to the 2022 Colombian presidential election voting day on May 29, a delegation met with a variety of groups who shared their perspectives on Colombia’s past and present, and their hopes for the future.
Because no presidential nominees secured at least 50% of the votes, a second voting day is scheduled for June 19 between the top two candidates: Gustavo Petro and Rodolfo Hernández Suárez.
Find out what is at stake during this election, who is at risk, and what are the impacts of Canadian foreign policy in Colombia?
On May 24, the delegation met with labour leaders who, amongst other issues, address the impact of Canadian corporations refusal to sign union agreements. In this clip, María Luisa Niño – District Association of Educators (Asociación Distrital de Educadores) talks about how teachers have been victims of oppression, about how many teachers, who are already working under precarious working conditions, are now also receiving death threats. She also speaks about her own experiences being imprisoned.
Video by Jase Tanner.
The delegation is composed of Canadians and Americans and was in Colombia from May 21, 2022 until June 1, 2022 to accompany the electoral process and understand the human rights situation in the country.
The members are:
Raul Burbano is the Program Director at Common Frontiers. He has worked on human rights and Democracy issues for over a decade and is a member of the Canadian Freelance Union. He has 12 years of experience in human rights work, and has monitored elections six times in three different countries.
Karen Jarrett is the Director of the New York Civil liberties Union. Karen has monitored elections three times in Latin America.
Dr. Terry Gibbs – is a Professor of International Politics and Chair of the Policies and Issues Committee of the Cape Breton University Faculty Association.
Dr. Timothy Bood is a physician living in Halifax, Canada. He has been involved in solidarity work for many years, with Latin America, and has worked as an election observer in 8 different elections.
Jase Tanner is a Canadian videographer active on social justice issues for 30 years. He produces videos for independent media, rabble.ca and the organization greenleft.ca
Julia Emma Zaldua, is a Colombian from Quebec, supporting community processes of the Colombian diaspora in Quebec, Canada. Through her work, she’s a member of the Public Service Alliance of Canada
The delegation is organized by Common Frontiers, a Canadian working group composed of labor, ecumenical and human rights organizations focused on the defense of democracy, human and labor rights for over 25 years in the Americas.
This work is sponsored by the Canadian labour movement and social organizations.
Public Service Alliance of Canada – Social Justice Fund, Metalworkers Humanitarian Fund, British Columbia Teachers’ Federation, British Columbia General Employees’ Union, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Comité pour les Droits humains en Amérique latine, Colombian Working Group and Policy Guidance Group for the Americas.