Approved the FTA with Colombia, asked The Washington Post

· Economics, Violence
Authors
Nancy Pelosi
Mrs Nancy Pelosi, president of the Chamber of Representative of the US Congress. She argued that the government of president Álvaro Uribe should do more in the protection of unionist activists in Colombia in order to approve the FTA.

A new claim to approve the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia asked The Washington Post in one of its last editorials to the National Congress. The financial worries of the current crisis is one of the main motivations to approve it, said the USA journal. The FTA Colombia-USA has been delayed in its approval by the Congress due to the objection of Mrs Nancy Pelosi, president of the Chamber of Representatives. It has been more for political reasons than economic ones, said the journal. Pelosi argued that president Uribe should do more for the improvement of human righst in Colombia, like the protection of the life of unionist leaders. To the eyes of The Washington Post, the goverment of president Uribe has weakened the terrorist actions of FARC guerrillas, the demovilization of the paramilitary groups, the aceleration of the economical growing, the reduction of criminal statistics and the improvement in the protection of the human righst of unionist activists. The Washington Post underlined that Colombia is the strongest ally of USA in South America. Colombia has tax preferences with USA through the Andean region trade, although such preferences are reviewed peridiocally by the Congress and those could be cut off at any time as a risk. In that case, Colombia has actually more preferences to the USA market than USA to Colombia. For this reason, the convinience to approve it comes more from the Norh American country. If it is not approved, Colombia will continue enyoing the benefits of the trade agreements within the Andean region.

Colombia is one of the biggest markets in South America after Brazil and Argentina. With a population of near 40 million, it acelerated its economical growing during the last decade due to the opening of its economic, a change in the political system within the so called democratic security program of president Uribe than included the reduction of FARC guerrillas, paramilitary groups, coke crops and violence. Although for his opponents president Uribe has done little in the improving of human rights, it is true that Colombia has changed much in his two presidencial periods, than it has done during the last 30 years. If human rights is something that comes to be urgent in any corner of the world, it is also important to aknowledge that Colombia has passed through a political unrest during the last 50 years and that it is not easy to stop realities like violence, mafia, terrorism and other evils in just the good will of a president. It is necessary to ensure that the conditions of change should be implemented so realities like the human rigts violations would stop definitively. The Colombian goverment has invested in protection of unionist activists and that is good. But we can not expected that the problem will be solved only placing body guards to the unionist leaders. As the problem of unionist leaders is not new in Colombia, the solution should be greater than security measures and it is to ensure that any group of the Colombian society will be ready to accept, tolerate and consider unionist activits as an important part of the Colombian nation and as a right of its workers to join unionist process.

In this context, the FTA could be made an opportunity to improve the living of Colombian workers as FTA has its conditions not only in the development of trade processes, but also in the growing of human resources. There are other ways to press the exigent of the protection of unionist activits besides the hold of the FTA for approval. In this case, The Washington Post is right when it is said that the reason to stop it is more political than economist.

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