Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Reports highlight violence in Colombia

A pair of reports published this week has highlighted how violence continues to hurt Colombia despite the advances made in eight years under President Alvaro Uribe.

According to the Global Peace Index's (GPI) 2010 study Colombia is the most violent country in Latin America and in 138th place out of 149 countries worldwide. Of the 23 indicators were used to rank countries in the GPI, Colombia scored very negatively in categories such as displaced people, “potential for terrorist acts”, and homicides per 100,000 people.

In terms of the rest of the Americas, Honduras and Venezuela were ranked as the second- and third-most violent countries in Latin America respectively. Uruguay was named as the most peaceful in the region under the GPI with a ranking of 24th. (New Zealand topped the list while Iraq was placed in last).

Meanwhile, a report from the International Confederation of Trade Unions concluded that Colombia is the world’s deadliest country for labor activists. 48 Colombian labor activists were slain in 2009 according to the study that also signaled Latin America as the most violent region for trade unionists:
Colombia was the deadliest country for workers; it said, with a total of 48 killings including 22 senior trade union leaders, 5 of them women. Next most dangerous were Guatemala, with 16 dead, and Honduras with 12.

Six were killed in both Bangladesh and Mexico and 4 in Brazil, the report said. Other countries where murders of union activists were reported were the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, India, Iraq and Nigeria.
Violence in Colombia was one of the main topics discussed between the country’s presidential candidates and visiting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ex-Bogota mayor Antanas Mockus denounced the deaths against Colombian labor members during his meeting with Clinton while former defense minister Juan Manuel Santos focused on free trade and security policies.

Image- LAHT (Photo of a Colombian police officer)
Online Sources- El Tiempo, El Espectador, Reuters, Global Peace Index, BusinessWeek, Colombia Reports

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