Letter to the Editor of EL MUNDO on the part of American Congressmen

“We write in regards to your October 31st editorial on our Congressional
Report, “The U.S.-Colombia Labor Action Plan (LAP): Failing on the Ground.”
We appreciate your coverage of our report and want to make clear that the
August visit which inspired the report is but one piece of a 2-year effort
by the Congressional Monitoring Group on Labor Rights in Colombia (CMG) to
monitor the implementation of the LAP. Over this period, the CMG has held
countless meetings with unions, businesses, academics, NGOs and experts on
labor rights and other issues. The report explicitly identifies the
important steps taken by the government of Colombia listed in the
editorial, while expressing deep concern over significant problems facing
implementation of the LAP in the current moment and how these problems
affect workers on the ground in various sectors. In addition, contrary to
the editorial’s assertion, the report makes clear that the delegation met
with business representatives, via the sugar association based in Cali, as
well as with unions that have successfully negotiated contracts and
Colombian government officials. As U.S. Representatives who have long
supported the advancement of labor and human rights issues in Colombia, we
want the LAP to succeed in defending the rights of workers in an effective
and concrete manner. That is why we include in the report specific
recommendations directed at both the United States and Colombia to
strengthen their efforts to comply fully with the LAP and the commitments
made to workers. We urge you to meet directly with workers and union
representatives in Cali, Bogota, and Buenaventura, and hear first-hand many
of the testimonies that the delegation heard. We are confident you will
find, as we did, that the LAP has yet to become reality on the ground.”

U.S. Representatives George Miller

U.S. Representative Jim McGovern