Colombia urges to ratify FTA
COLOMBIA: Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on Thursday urged the
United States to advance the ratification of the bilateral free trade
agreement, saying his country has made notable progress in human rights
The United States can no longer use the lack of protection for
workers as an excuse for not ratifying the agreement, since Colombia has
achieved a lot in this respect, Uribe said in a radio interview, citing
increased protection for journalists and union leaders.
The Colombian government has been committed to protecting workers,
journalists and mayors ever since the presidential campaign, Uribe said,
noting he has launched a program to protect Colombian citizens whose
rights are threatened.
The United States must take into account the International Labor
Organization's inclusion of Colombia in a list of countries that has
progressed in protecting their labor force.
Uribe said he believed the U.S. Congress would endorse the agreement,
which was signed in 2006 after 15 rounds of negotiations in 21 months,
but was delayed in April 2008 when U.S. Democrats demanded Colombia do
more to protect human rights. BOGOTA, Friday, Xinhua