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News > Colombia

Colombian Teachers Announce 2-Day Strike To Defend Right To Live

  • Opposition lawmakers protesting against the killing of social leaders

    Opposition lawmakers protesting against the killing of social leaders | Photo: EFE

Published 12 February 2020

Anti-union violence has been an instrument of persecution, stated the teachers' union - the main responsible for the violence being the State by action and omission.

The Colombian Federation of Education Workers (Fecode) announced Tuesday a national strike on February 20 and 21 against violence and defending a right to life.

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Fecode President Nelson Alarcon called Colombian citizens to join this initiative in defense of life, peace, and democracy, "against the assassination, threats, and attacks against our social and union leaders and the Colombian teachers.

Fecode added that anti-union violence in this country is systematic, selective, political, disciplinary, and instrumental. 

Alarcon told reporters that in the past 30 years, over 1,100 teachers in Colombia died. In 2019, 14 unionized teachers were killed in total.

Fecode has been the union that has suffered the most victims in the context of the armed conflict, according to information their representatives disclosed before the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition Guarantees.

The report Life to be educated includes thousands of violent events from 1986 to 2016, which occurred in territories where there was an armed conflict.

Far from being isolated cases, according to Fecode's technician Alejandra Garzon, "the intention was to persecute the teachers because of their union, because of their pedagogical, political, social and community role.

The report emphasizes the process of victimization, persecution and attempted extermination of teacher activists affiliated with Fecode, according to the information released.

Fecode believes that a process of collective reparation is needed, which recognizes what has caused the anti-union violence in Colombia.

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