Colombia Intercepts Cards from MPs

Justice For Colombia News | on: Sunday, 2 March 2008
Original source: Click here for original article

The Colombian government has broken a promise to MPs to deliver messages to a woman imprisoned for over a year without trial, Tribune can reveal.

A number of Labour politicians signed the Christmas cards - printed by Unite the union as part of a campaign in support of the trade union leader Carmen Mayusa – and entrusted them to then Colombian ambassador Carlos Eduardo Medellin.

But when Unite officials visited Ms Mayusa in prison in Bogotà this month, they discovered the cards had never been sent.

Gail Cartman, a Unite assistant general secretary who visited her, said it was "indicative of the contempt in which she is held", adding: "For goodness sake, if he was unable to do that very simple thing, how are we able to hold him in any esteem?"

Ms Mayusa, a leader of the Colombian health workers' union ANTHOC, was arrested in May 2006 after campaigning against privatisation of the health service and for trade unionists' human rights. Since then, she has been held in the political prisoners' block of Bogotà's Buen Pastor women's prison.

Jon Trickett, Labour MP for Hemsworth and a signatory to the cards, said: "It is very dangerous to be a trade unionist in Colombia and many people here wanted to send a message of support to Carmen Mayusa... It is extremely disconcerting that messages from Members of Parliament, peers and trade unionists have not made it through to her".

A Colombian embassy spokesperson said the cards had been sent to the foreign ministry for forwarding.

For further information of the original campaign to send the cards to Ms Mayusa see http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/75/



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