Brussels, 11 January 2011 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC, together with its affiliated organisations in Guatemala and the national health workers’ union SNTSG, has firmly condemned the killing of a member of the health sector trade union at the opening of 2011.
According to the information received by the ITUC, Eswin Carol Gálvez, a doctor at the Retalhuleu hosipal and a member of the SNTSG, which is affiliated to Public Services International (PSI), the Central American Joint Trade Union Platform (Plataforma Sindical Común Centroamericana) and the national front for the defence of public services and natural resources FNL, was murdered as he was about to enter his home. The gunman fled after shooting him dead, making no attempt to rob anything. Various other members of the health workers’ union were killed at the end of December 2010.
In a letter to the Guatemalan authorities, the ITUC called on President Álvaro Colom, the Interior Ministry, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the judicial authorities and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) to launch a full and immediate investigation into this new murder and to ensure that all those responsible are brought to justice. “Respect for the core ILO Conventions ratified by Guatemala is crucial to the construction of a strong democracy in the country, and to putting an end to impunity,” insisted ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.
The ITUC represents 176 million workers in 151 countries and territories and has 301 national affiliates.