JFC and Simpson Millar campaign for Henry Diaz at Labour Party Conference

Justice For Colombia News | on: Saturday, 6 October 2012

JFC and Simpson Millar LLP launched their campaign for Henry Diaz, disapeared Colombian trade unionist, at Labour Party Conference this year. Messages to Colombian President Santos calling for justice were signed by high profile politicians and union leaders, among them Chris Bryant, former Foreign Office Minister, Rob Flello, shadow Justice Minister and Iain McNicol, Labour Party General Secretary. You can view the photos of those who signed on our Tumblr.

The campaign calls for justice for Henry Diaz, a member of Fensuagro, the Colombian agricultural workers’ union, and the Patriotic March new opposition movement, who was disappeared on 18th April this year. Henry had organised a human rights hearing for a Justice for Colombia delegation in February this year, and several delegates met him during the trip. He was due to lead a delegation of 200 local people to take part in a Patriotic March demonstration, the weekend after his disappearance. Henry’s clothes have been found in between two army checkpoints, and the Colombian authorities themselves have confirmed that the army controls the area. There is grave concern Henry has been assassinated in order to silence him.

Henry is one of 69 cases of trade unionists assassinated or disappeared during the first two years of President Santos' administration, and according to a 2012 report by the UNDP, impunity remains at 95% for these crimes. In addition, the Colombian government has recently made cuts to the protection programme for trade unionists, with funding of fuel for vehicles in the security scheme reduced by 50%, meaning many threatened leaders cannot use their cars and bodyguards.

The campaign also calls for justice in these cases, and for the protection of trade unionists currently at risk.

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