During his campaign, President Obama promised not to support a free trade agreement (FTA) with Colombia until conditions improved. Despite reports of continued violence, the Obama Administration is taking steps to pass the agreement as soon as possible.
Colombia now endures the largest displacement crisis in the world, with 5.2 million people living in desperate conditions after being forced from their lands. This agreement would encourage more large-scale agricultural, mining and other resource extraction projects that would push many Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities off their ancestral lands and into greater poverty. As for Colombia’s small-scale farmers still living on their lands, experience with similar agreements such as NAFTA has taught us that the unjust agricultural provisions from the FTA will make it even harder for these already struggling families to produce enough to survive.