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Letter to the Colombian government about security for SINTRAINAGRO

The petition below was sent to the Colombian government in support of the demand that they provide security for SINTRAINAGRO leaders in the wake of the recent grenade attack. This petition was sent along with a statement calling for international support, and for the Colombian government to act. 

 


500_Euroban logo - colour                 logo-bananas+sub_SP_lgreen

 

 

To:

 

JUAN MANUEL SANTOS

Presidente República de Colombia

 

JUAN FERNANDO CRISTO

Ministro del Interior

 

NÉSTOR HUMBERTO MARTÍNEZ

Fiscal General de la Nación

 

DIEGO FERNANDO MORA

Director Unidad Nacional de Protección

 

cc:

 

GUILLERMO RIVERA ZAPATA

Presidente Sintrainagro

 

SINTRAINAGRO SECCIONAL CIENAGA

 

CUT - COLOMBIA

 

March 2017

 

 

Dear Sirs,

 

PROTECTION FOR THE TRADE UNION LEADERS OF SINTRAINAGRO

 

We are writing in response to the grenade attack on 8 March this year at the SINTRAINAGRO headquarters in the department of Magdalena, Ciénaga municipality, Colombia. We wish to express, in the strongest terms, our support for the demand by SINTRAINAGRO that the Colombian government guarantee protection for the leaders of SINTRAINAGRO so that they can carry out union activities at a national level and activities in all state institutions that require security services for trade union leaders in Colombia.

 

As members of the Make Fruit Fair campaign and and the European Banana and Agro Industrial Product Action Network, we work in close partnership with SINTRAINAGRO to improve the living and working conditions for the people who grow, pick and pack the tropical fruit sold in European retail outlets, and to achieve socially just, economically viable and environmentally sound tropical fruit industries.

 

For many years, SINTRAINAGRO has supported all the peace processes in Colombia with armed groups that are outside the law. As a result, SINTRAINAGRO has been declared a military objective by groups that do not agree with these peace processes, and, as a result, 1,300 leaders and members of the organisation have been assassinated. It is a major concern that the vast majority of security people who were assigned by the government to protect SINTRAINAGRO leaders have been withdrawn because they were apparently no longer under threat by these illegal groups. SINTRAINAGRO has on several occasions reported threats against SINTRAINAGRO leaders by these groups but have not received a response from the national government.

 

The grenade attack on 8 March, and the attack which took place in 2015 against SINTRAINAGRO President, Guillermo Rivera Zapata, and treasurer of the Executive Committee, Medardo Cuesta, in the municipality of Florida, department of Valle del Cauca, demonstrate the need for the Colombian government to provide necessary security for the union’s leaders.

 

We are calling on you to fulfil your duty so that the people of Colombia, and their friends around the world, do not have to mourn the death of more trade union leaders in Colombia.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Jacqui Mackay

National Co-ordinator

Banana Link

United Kingdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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