Finance Union Leader Killed

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 10 March 2008

The brutally murdered body of a leading member of the Colombian bank workers trade union has been found in his home in the Colombian capital Bogota. As well as sitting on the National Executive of finance union UNEB, Leonidas Gomez Rozo, was an active member of the Polo Democratico opposition political party. He also sat on the national education committee of the CUT trade union federation.

Mr Gomez was found by colleagues and relatives on March 8th after having been reported as disappeared on March 5th. He worked for Citibank in Bogota and led the union branch representing workers at the bank.

His murder is the latest in an upsurge of attacks on UNEB that also saw an attempt on the life of Rafael Boada on March 7th in the city of Bucaramanga. Mr Boada, who leads the union in the region, was sitting in his car when two men on motorbikes opened fire on him. He had previously received repeated paramilitary death threats.

UNEB has reported that the union nationally has received several threats from a paramilitary group known as the 'Black Eagles' in which they have said that the entire union membership is a "military target". The paramilitaries continue to assassinate trade unionists regularly despite Colombian Government claims that the paramilitaries have demobilized.

UNI, the international federation of trade unions in the finance sector, has established a website from which people can send messages of protest relating to the latest killing. Please take time to visit

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