LALACS to Host Colombian Union Leader on Wednesday

Posted on April 29th, 2013 by

Sohely Rua Castañeda

Sohely Rua Castañeda

The Gustavus Adolphus College Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies (LALACS) Program will host Sohely Rua Castañeda, Secretary of Women and Labor for Colombia’s National Union School, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1 in room 128 of Confer Hall.

Rua Castañeda will give first-hand testimony about the struggle for labor justice in Colombia on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  The FTA is particularly harmful to Colombian women, who face lower wages, discrimination and largely informal employment that provides no protections or benefits.

Despite promised protections for workers before the implementation of the free trade agreement, Colombia continues to be the deadliest country in the world for trade unionists. Since 2011, 29 trade unionists in Colombia have been murdered and more than 300 new death threats have been received.

Rua Casteñeda has written extensively on women’s labor rights, employment in the informal sector, and the feminization of poverty. She holds a master’s degree in education and human rights from the University of Manizales. This event is free and open to the public.

Questions and requests for more information regarding this event can be directed to Director of the LALACS Program, Dr. Nancy Scott Hanway, at


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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