Simpson and Woodley Condemn Killing of Colombian Trade Unionist

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 19 January 2009

Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson, the joint leaders of Unite, Britain's largest trade union representing around 2 million workers, have written to the Colombian Ambassador in London condemning the killing of trade unionist Adolfo Tique. Mr Tique, who was killed on January 1st in an incident that apparently involved the Colombian Army, was the first trade unionist to be murdered in the world this year.

In their letter (click here to read the full version) Simpson and Woodley express their "outrage at the brutal assassination" and point out that "as is common in many murders of our trade union colleagues in Colombia, it yet again appears that the Colombian Army was involved in the killing." They also ask the Ambassador why Mr Tique was not better protected given that he had been mentioned by name in reports by the ILO, the International Federation of Human Rights and Justice for Colombia.

The involvement of soldiers in the murder is also highlighted by the union leaders who ask why the killer, Jose Vicente Acosta, was initially detained by the army shortly after shooting Mr Tique dead but then "immediately and inexplicably released....allowing him to go free". They also expressed concern at reports that soldiers had subsequently harassed those attending Mr Tique's funeral.

Simpson and Woodley have also written to the British Foreign Secretary asking him to condemn the killing and requesting that the British Embassy in Bogota look into the details. They also asked the Foreign Secretary for assurances that the soldiers involved in the latest killing had not benefitted from UK military assistance.

For the original Justice for Colombia report on the assassination see Four Hours into the New Year, First Colombian Trade Unionist Murdered in 2009

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