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CAUT condemns threats to Colombian teachers and unions

(Ottawa – November 13, 2020) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has written to Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez to demand protections for executive members of the Federación Colombiana de Educadores (FECODE) teachers’ union. Death threats were made at the end of October through the delivery of a funeral wreath and individualized obituary notices.

“We are alarmed at these latest threats to the teachers’ union and are deeply troubled that violence towards social and union leaders has become far too commonplace in your country,” says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson in the letter.

CAUT joins with Education International (EI) and the global education community in condemning the chronic lack of safety of teachers and union leaders in Colombia, where more than 6,000 education unionists have been killed, threatened, or forcefully displaced over the last 30 years.

“CAUT urges your government to ensure the safety and the physical integrity of all individuals on the FECODE Executive Committee, and of all citizens who exercise their rights to express opinions, demonstrate, and organise in defense of the public education system,” the letter concludes.