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Parliamentary questions
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22 November 2018
Question for written answer E-005879-18
to the Council
Rule 130
João Pimenta Lopes (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Political persecution of Huber Ballesteros
 Answer in writing 

Huber Ballesteros, an executive committee member of the Colombian Central Union of Workers (CUT), has recently been the victim of political persecution by the Colombian State. On 4 November 2018, he was travelling to Brussels to take part in a series of meetings with civil society organisations, Belgian trade unions and Members of the European Parliament. Colombian migration agents stopped him from taking the trip on the grounds that it had not been authorised by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.

Huber Ballesteros had been held prisoner in Colombia for over three years based on false evidence. His imprisonment was part of a campaign of political persecution orchestrated by the Colombian State, aiming to criminalise the work of social leaders and activists. He was freed in 2017 after disproving the charges against him.

The political persecution of Huber Ballesteros is not an isolated case in Colombia. It is part of the State’s strategy to discredit and sabotage social leaders and activists in order to prevent, by any means possible, the implementation of the Colombian peace agreement.

What is the Council’s view on the policies and measures being taken by Iván Duque’s recently elected government to persecute social leaders and activists, thereby jeopardising the implementation of the Colombian peace agreements?

Original language of question: PT 
Last updated: 7 December 2018Legal notice