On the 29th of January, 2002, an agreement was signed by the Colombian government, the Mayor of Cali, and SINTRAEMCALI to bring to an end the 35 day occupation of the CAM Tower. The agreement completely satisfied the three demands of the Union, which since the 25th of December had occupied the CAM Tower and developed a range of activities to ensure that EMCALI EICE ESP remains a public company.
This agreement represents a complete victory for the workers of EMCALI, guaranteeing that the company will not be privatised, that there will be no price increases this year, and that a high level anti-corruption inquiry will begin to investigate and bring to justice all of those people who have siphoned off public resources from the company in recent years.
After several days of heightened tension, which threatened to end in violent confrontation between workers and security forces both in Cali and Bogota, a peaceful solution is a welcome ending for all concerned. That this solution is also a just one, is a tribute to the strategy of the union leaders, the courage of all those involved both inside and outside the CAM Tower, and the solidarity expressed by trade unionists and activists across the World, and particularly in Britain.
Let this victory give courage to all those who desire a world of peace and social justice. It is time to challenge the dictates of the rich and powerful. If it can be done in Colombia, the most dangerous country in the World for trade unionists and activists, it can be done anywhere.