UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Colombian trade unionists' lives in danger

The TUC's Brendan Barber has written to the Colombian ambassador expressing concern for the safety of President Oscar Arturo Orozco (pictured) and Secretary General Wilson Jaramillo of the Caldas branch of Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT) after they were shot at on the way to a meeting with local fishermen.

Both men, also members of the Movimento Nacional de Victimas de Crimenes de Estado (MOVICE) and the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Electricidad de Colombia (SINTRAELECOL) were travelling by car on the 4th August, between Manizales and the municipality of Palestina in Caldas Department, when shots were fired at the car by two men on a motorbike and from others standing at the side of the road. Fortunately neither man was injured. They had been on their way to a meeting with local fishermen about the impact the Caldas Hydroelectric Power Plant has had on their livelihoods.

Death threats have repeatedly been left at the office of SINTRAELECOL, most recently in mid July when the threat contained a picture of bullet cartridges and that 12 trade unionists have been killed in Colombia in this year alone.

This attack comes at a time when there was an order to remove the protection Mr Orozco was receiving as part of the reduction in the budget of Ministry of Interior Protection Programme.

You can add your voice by sending appeals before 20 September. Full details on the Amnesty site at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR23/029/2012/en