IndustriALL Condemns Murder of Colombian Trade Unionist

IndustriALL Global Union joins the Colombian labor movement in denouncing the vicious attack of another trade union leader in Colombia.

2014 has started with fear and sadness in Colombia as attacks and criminalization of social protests continue. The latest incident occurred on January 10 when workers of the hydroelectric Caldas-CHEC-of SINTRAELECOL-CUT, an IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, were attacked while conducting a demonstration demanding the right to implement their collective agreement. The demonstrators also denounced the abuses committed by the Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) against the communities in Caldas.

Demonstrators were violently attacked and beaten by the Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios using explosive devices. One of those explosives seriously injured several workers and their families. Among them, the President of CUT and  SINTRAELECOL-Caldas, Arturo Oscar Orozco, who is still hospitalized in very serious condition, suffering critical injuries to his face and eyes.

Trade unionists in Colombia are consistently subjected to violence and persecution. On January 4, 2014, Luis Marin Rolong Ever, a regional leader of SINALTRACEBA brewery workers union, was murdered by unknown gunmen as he was waiting for a bus in the town of Soledad. The next day the President of SINALTRACEBA, Gamboa Rafael Maldonado, received death threats from paramilitaries while the union was holding its General Assembly. Four leaders of another IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, the Union Sindical Obrera de la Industría del Petroleo have been unfairly detained since December 4, 2013.

The IndustriALL Global Union is a newly-formed union federation representing 50 million workers in 140 countries. IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger currently serves as one of three Vice Presidents.

Join the IndustriALL campaign in demanding an end to the persecution, attacks and assassination of trade unionists in Colombia by clicking here.