Colombian human rights activist turned away from Trade Committee
By Peter Julian M.P.
Marston arranges for testimony in alternate committee
OTTAWA – New Democrat Human Rights Critic Wayne Marston had to facilitate the testimony of renowned human rights activist Yessika Hoya Morales after she was turned away from the International Trade Committee, even though its membership had indicated it was interested in hearing her speak.
Ms. Morales, was set to testify regarding the human rights situation in her home country, Colombia. She is in Canada as part of a working group to block the passage of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Marston managed to facilitate her appearance before the Sub-committee on International Human Rights instead.
“It’s open season on human rights activists and trade unionists in Colombia,” said Marston. “Proponents of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement obviously don’t want the committee to hear the reality of its human rights implications,” he added.
Ms. Morales is a recent nominee for the Meany-Kirkland Award for excellence in the field of human rights. Her father, Jorge Dario Hoyos, was assassinated in 2001 by a right wing paramilitary group with links to the Columbian government.
“I am ashamed that the Committee on International Trade refused to hear Ms. Morales after she was led to believe that she would be able to testify,” said New Democrat International Trade Critic Peter Julian. “Her revelations as an eye witness to the continuing abuses in Colombia by the Uribe regime only reinforces our opposition to the most egregious piece of trade legislation that has been tabled in this Parliament.”
For more information please call:
Tom Allen, Office of Wayne Marston, 613-219-0076
Carole Saab, Press Secretary, 613-222-5997