Jim Shannon – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jim Shannon on 2016-02-08.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart on the number of trade union activists who have been killed in Cartagena in the last six months.

Mr Hugo Swire

I am aware that a trade unionist was tragically killed in Cartagena on 15 December 2015. I understand that the Colombian authorities are investigating the case. We consistently urge the authorities to follow due process in all cases.

Our Embassy in Bogotá takes every opportunity to urge the Colombian government to take further measures to prevent violence and threats against human rights defenders, including trade unionists. The British Ambassador in Bogota recently raised concerns about human rights defenders with the Colombian Interior Minister on 1 February and with the Presidential Advisor for Human Rights on 4 February. Furthermore, this year we are funding a Colombian NGO to develop protection measures for human rights defenders in rural areas. Our Embassy will continue to raise these issues in regular meetings with the Colombian government.