A delegation of ten representatives from international trade unions will return to Colombia as electoral observers for the presidential elections on May 29. The group includes representatives of the global unions: the International Transport Workers’ Federation, Public Services International, Education International, Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and UNI Global Union. The delegation comes in response to requests from Colombian workers’ confederations, the CUT and the CTC.
These international organizations are calling once again for guarantees in the country regarding the freedom to vote, especially in the workplace, and are showing their commitment to the defense of peace and Colombian democracy.
“The importance of unions’ participation in the country’s democratic processes is more than clear, including in the electoral process. They must participate, demonstrate and call on the government and electoral authorities to ensure the correct handling of the elections and the right to vote,” stated Marcio Monzane, regional secretary of UNI Americas.
The unions also join the calls of several congressional representatives of the Republic for the international community to observe this election, to defend democracy as well as to accompany and follow up on the electoral results.
This delegation is a continuation of the electoral observation mission on March 13, where a group of 85 trade unionists traveled to the country to monitor the voting, assess the risks and issues that could arise during the electoral process, and thus report these problems to the appropriate authorities. During the mission, the observers raised concerns, for example regarding the “seats for peace.” In these special districts, representing the areas that suffered the most during Colombia’s armed conflict, it was unknown how the votes would be secured as they traveled from rural polling areas to the counting places.
UNI Global Union reiterates its commitment to ensure that in Colombia there are guarantees for freedom of expression, the right to vote without repression or violence.