A protest was held outside Rio Tinto's Melbourne offices on March 13 to launch a campaign against multinationals investing in Colombia. Rio Tinto has several exploration projects in Colombia and it plans to start mining next year.
The campaign aims to target companies that invest in Colombia with the aim of drawing funds away from the government-sponsored death squads in Colombia. It is hoped that the success of the divestment campaign against South African apartheid can be replicated in the case of Colombia.
The Victorian Trades Hall Council has already passed a resolution stating that all union superannuation funds will be taken out of Australian-based companies operating in Colombia as long as union members are being killed.
Colombia continues to be the world's most dangerous country for trade unionists. In 2009, four trade union leaders have already been killed by state security forces.
More than 1500 dissident young people were kidnapped by the military in 2008. Many were murdered, then dressed in military uniforms and presented to the media as left-wing guerrillas killed in combat.
Millions of people have been forcibly displaced by the Colombian government. In consequence, Colombia has one of the world's largest refugee populations. For the majority of Colombians, their economy and security situation is getting worse.
For information about the campaign contact Peace and Justice for Colombia http://www.colombiasolidarity.net .