TUC General Secretary protest letter to Colombian Ambassador

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Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

H.E. Mauricio Rodriguez Munera

Ambassador
Embassy of Colombia
3 Hans Crescent
London
SW1X OLN

Dear Ambassador

Assassinations of Colombian Trade Unionists

On behalf of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) representing British workers and the 6.5 million members of our affiliated unions I regret that I have to write once again to raise our concerns in the strongest possible terms over the assassinations of two more trade unionists in Colombia in recent weeks:

Zorayda Cortes Lopez - an art teacher at the Higher Technical Institute of Pereira in Risaralda

Leny Yanube Rengifo Gomeza a teacher and active member of the Cauca education workers union - ASOINCA.

Your government has gone to great pains to argue that there has been a dramatic fall in the number of trade unionists being assassinated. Tragically the facts on the ground continue to contradict this. 195 teachers have been assassinated in Colombia without a single arrest made.

The ongoing killings - which as we have already highlighted this year are continuing to run at the rate of almost one a week - indicate that contrary to the assurances given by your Government to the international community, little is being done to safeguard the lives of trade union members and activists in Colombia, or investigate and prosecute such murders.

I must again restate our position that until this situation is rectified, the British trade union movement will continue to urge our own Government to end their 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.

Yours sincerely

Brendan Barber

General Secretary

Briefing
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