ICFTU OnLine – June 1, 2006

Brussels, 1 June 2006 (ICFTU OnLine): Serious threats were made against Costa Rican trade union representatives from the Confederación de Trabajadores Rerum Novarum (CTRN) when their office was attacked in on 24 May.

5 CTRN representatives were held at gunpoint by assailants who burst into their offices in the morning of the 24th, then tied up and subjected to death threats. One of the assailants placed his gun in the mouth of the CTRN Education Secretary.

The attackers ransacked the CTRN’s office and searched through the organisation’s filing cabinets, removing large amounts of paperwork as well as a computer. They also took personal belongings, cash, and mobile phones.

During the raid, the assailants were in communication by mobile phone with an unknown person, to whom they gave a running commentary of their actions, saying that they knew the CTRN President was out of the country and there were several people in the office.

The CTRN staff were then again threatened as the attackers left the building, and were then able to free themselves some 45 minutes later.

The ICFTU strongly condemns this attack against the national trade union centre and its staff, and insists that the government of Costa Rica fully meet its obligations as a member of the International Labour Organisation, having ratified ILO Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining Conventions.

In a letter to the national authorities, (click here) the ICFTU has also called for a full investigation of the incident, and that the perpetrators be identified and prosecuted.