Twelve members of the European Parliament (E.P.) asked the European Union (E.U.) to suspend signing the free trade agreement with Colombia because of the South American nation’s poor human rights record.
The Parliament said that signing the agreement would send the wrong message to the world, indicating that for the E.U. the defense of human rights comes secondary to financial agreements.
The Parliament pointed out that Canada and the U.S. had objected to signing free trade agreements with Colombia because of ongoing persecution of trade unionists and violence against citizens.
According to the parliament 65 per cent of murders of trade unionists are committed in Colombia, El Espectador reported.
The Parliament asked the E.U. to open an investiagtion into continued human rights violations in Colombia.
This is not the first time the agreement has met with opposition.
The deputy leader of the French National Assembly warned that Colombia’s human rights’ record could damage its trade opportunities.
Back in April, Colombian, American, and European union workers pressed the European Parliament not to sign the free trade agreement with Colombia unless its human rights record improves.