Crowe calls for the release of Huber Ballesteros
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, joined trade union and Justice for Colombia activists who handed over a petition to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade yesterday which calls for the release of arrested Colombian trade union activist Huber Ballesteros.
The petition, which was signed by over 11,500 individuals, was also handed in to Colombian Embassy in London by Justice for Colombia Britain and to Colombian President, Santos, by activists in Bogota.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“I want to commend Justice for Colombia in Ireland and Britain for organising this petition which clearly shows the Irish, British, and most importantly the Colombian government, that the continued imprisonment of Huber Ballesteros is wrong and unacceptable.
“Huber is one of the most internationally well-known Colombian trade unionists. He is a member of the Executive Committee of Colombia’s largest trade union federation, the CUT, the Vice President of FENSUAGRO Agricultural Workers’ Union, and also the National Organiser for the union-backed Patriotic March movement.
“He was arrested on the 25th August as he was helping to mobilise peasant workers across Colombia and his continued imprisonment is politically motivated.
“Colombia continues to be the world’s most dangerous country to be a trade union activist, with 12 activists being killed this year so far.
“While the peace talks in Havana between the Colombian government and the FARC are a promising development, the Colombian authorities also need to take reformative action and ensure that the human rights and security of trade union activists are in all cases respected and upheld.
“Huber Ballesteros should be released and yesterday’s international action sends a clear message to the Colombian authorities that persecuting trade unionists will not be tolerated or accepted.”