H.E. Mauricio Rodriguez Munera
Embassy of Colombia
3 Hans Crescent
SW1X OLN Dear Ambassador
Assassinations of Colombian Trade Unionists
Thank you for your letters of 17 August and 31 August setting out respectively your response to my letter of 17 June on the continuing systemic failure to ensure the protection of trade unionists in Colombia and the commitments made by President Santos in his inauguration speech to uphold respect for life and human rights in Colombia.
I have noted the arguments made in both letters that real change has taken place and it is therefore of course with deep regret that I have to write once again to raise the cases of three trade union leaders murdered since President Santos inauguration, namely;
Luis German Restrepo, killed on August 12th 2010 in the city of Medellin, a member of the Executive of the packaging union SINTRAEMPAQUES (CGT)
Segundo Salvador Forero Moreno, killed on September 9th in the town of Anserma (Caldas province), an activists in the teachers' trade union EDUCAL (FECODE, CUT)
Nelson Murillo Taborda, killed September 9th in the town of El Castillo (Meta province), a member of the Executive of SINTRAGRIM (FEBSUAGRO, CUT)
We of course accept that President Santos has only just begun his presidency and welcome the assurances given by his new administration that more will be done to protect the lives and rights of trade unionists. However until we see action on the ground to turn his words into reality we remain unconvinced that enough is being done to change the appalling situation faced daily by trade unionists in your country.
In fact once again, as with so many cases in the past, it would appear that little is being done in the cases of the three assassinations outlined above to bring the perpetrators to justice.
I must again restate our position that notwithstanding the new government in Bogotá until we see real and meaningful progress to end the violence and attacks faced by trade unionists and other human rights defenders the British trade union movement will continue to urge our Government to end political and military support for the Colombian Government and oppose the signing of any bilateral trade agreements between the EU and Colombia.
I look forward to hearing from you regarding what measures are being taken to find and prosecute the murderers in these cases.
Issued: 8 October, 2010