While the United States considers a Free Trade Agreement
(FTA) with Colombia, the human rights situation in the Magdalena Medio region
of Colombia has deteriorated dramatically, culminating in the 17 August 2011 massacre
in the township of El Dorado.
The United States House of Representatives and Senate will
probably vote on the long standing FTA when they return from their
congressional break, asserting that the human rights situation in Colombia is
improving. However, a wave of
human rights violations, assassinations, and massacres has shaken the region. For example, in the city of Barrancabermeja,
from 13-18 August, the organization Human Rights Workers' Forum of
Barrancabermeja (Espacio de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras de Derechos Humanos)
documented two assassinations, two forced disappearances, five attempted
assassinations, and the kidnapping of three contract workers.