Is Violence Against Union Members in Colombia Systematic and Targeted?

33 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2009 Last revised: 17 Sep 2015

See all articles by Daniel Mejia

Daniel Mejia

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Maria Jose Uribe

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 2010

Abstract

Violence against union members in Colombia has been at the center of a debate for several years now. Union leaders and NGOs in Colombia and abroad continuously argue that free trade agreements with Colombia should be blocked based on the failure of the current Colombian government to protect union members from targeted killings. We first look at the evolution over time of the indicators for violence against union members and union leaders. In particular we show (using different indicators and data sources) that violence against unionists in Colombia has steadily declined over the last seven years. Then, we use available panel data to study the determinants of violence against union members and union leaders. We make special emphasis on testing the claim that a greater intensity in the characteristic activities of unions leads to more violence against union members and union leaders. Using different data sets, data sources and estimation methods, we find no statistical evidence supporting this claim. These results suggest that, on average, violence against unionists in Colombia is neither systematic nor targeted.

Keywords: Violence, Targeted Killings, Unions, Union Activity

JEL Classification: J51, J52, K42

Suggested Citation

Mejia, Daniel and Uribe, Maria Jose, Is Violence Against Union Members in Colombia Systematic and Targeted? (December 2010). Documento CEDE No. 2009-28, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1510133 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1510133

Daniel Mejia (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1 No. 18 A - 10
Bogotá, AA4976
Colombia
57(1)3394949 ext 3737 (Phone)
57(1)3324492 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://economia.uniandes.edu.co/share/scripts/home/home.php

Maria Jose Uribe

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

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