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CUPE Global Justice committee members Barbara Wood and Ricardo Miranda were part of an international observation mission to Colombia in February 2010. Wood is a member of CUPE 1004. Ricardo Miranda is president of Local 4095, part of CUPE’s Airline Division.

The purpose of the international mission to Colombia is to support the work of the MOE by helping to bring international attention to the March 14, 2010 congressional elections. The international delegation includes 22 representatives from the United States, Canada, the European Union and Australia.

The 2010 elections come at an especially sensitive moment. Over the last year, more than 83 members of the Colombian national congress have been indicted for affiliation with illegal paramilitary organizations financed by the drug trade. The disgraced members – mainly from the governing coalition of President Alvaro Uribe – represented a third of Colombia’s House and Senate seats. The penetration by paramilitary organizations into the Colombian government heightens concerns for a free and fair election process in 2010.