Prison Officers’ Union Leader Assassinated

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 31 January 2008

Unidentified assassins have murdered a regional leader of the prison officers' trade union in Colombia.

The killing, on January 28th, occurred as 32-year-old Yebrain Suarez, arrived home from work in the town of Itagui in Antioquia department. The assassins were waiting for him in the doorway of his house.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) condemned the latest killing in a letter to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on January 29th. The ITUC stated that "Despite recent optimistic statements by Colombian Vice-President Francisco Santos and other government officials, Colombian trade unionists still carry out their legitimate trade union activities at constant risk to their lives, on top of serious deficiencies in the country's labour laws which impose major restrictions on trade union rights."

ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder added "Colombia has a long and appalling record as the most dangerous place on earth for trade unionists, with dozens of killings taking place each year. Only a tiny fraction of these have been investigated properly. The government must fulfill its responsibility to protect trade unionists and end the culture of impunity which has reigned for so long."

As is usual in such cases nobody has been arrested for the most recent murder.

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