U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William R. Brownfield met with leaders of the Colombian Federation of Educators on March 25. The Ambassador commended FECODE leaders for their dedication to the defense of workers’ and teachers’ rights, and expressed concern that Colombian labor leaders continue to face threats and violence due to their professional activities. The Ambassador emphasized that “labor organizations like FECODE play positive, essential roles in all democratic societies, including the United States and Colombia.”
FECODE was founded in 1959 and represents 220,000 workers organized in approximately 33 unions. It is one of the largest union federations in Colombia, with a large presence in the public education sector. Its leaders work on a national scale to uphold the rights of Colombian workers and teachers. Ambassador Brownfield met with the leaders of the General Confederation of Workers (CGT) in October of last year, and labor leaders from the United Confederation of Workers (CUT) in February of 2010.