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G4S loses major contract in Colombia after BDS campaign

British security giant G4S has lost a major contract in Colombia, following a year-long campaign by Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) activists.

Crepes & Waffles, a restaurant chain with branches across South America and Spain, has decided to end a contract with G4S for securing the transit of cash and valuables.

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BDS Colombia had argued that contracting G4S ran counter to the chain’s ethical principles and offended many of its loyal clients. More than 1,400 people signed a petition and hundreds of the chain’s clients delivered it by hand to the managers of the chain’s restaurants in various locations.

G4S provides equipment and services to Israeli prisons at which Palestinian political prisoners are held without trial and subjected to torture. G4S also has contracts to provide equipment and services to checkpoints and the apartheid wall, as well as crossings that enforce the siege of Gaza.

Abdulrahman Abu Nahel, Gaza coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), described the news as “a welcome contribution to our struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”

G4S is involved in gross violations of human rights through its involvement in and profiting from mass incarceration of Palestinians, blacks and migrants in the US and other oppressed communities around the world. The cross-movement boycott campaigns against G4S are growing fast to hold the company accountable for this complicity.

According to Zoe Pepper-Cunningham, a member of the Colombian BDS campaign, while the campaign targeting Crepes & Waffles has ended, there is plenty more to do.

Aside from other G4S contracts that we shall continue to campaign against, we are also mobilizing pressure to derail the ratification of Colombia’s Free Trade Agreement with Israel as well as the military links. For decades, Israel has supported Latin American dictatorships and trained death squads; we should impose a military embargo on it, as was done against apartheid South Africa.

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