Regional Trade Union President Shot Dead, Daughter Wounded

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 5 April 2009

The leader of the teachers' trade union SITRAENAL in the north western Colombian department of Cordoba was yesterday shot dead in front of his house. His teenage daughter, who was standing with him at the time of the attack, was badly injured. Hernan Polo Barrera, the regional president of the union, is the thirteenth trade unionist killed in Colombia so far during 2009.

The gunmen, who have not been caught, fled on a motorcycle after the assassination whilst Mr Polo Barrera's 16-year-old daughter, Liseth, was rushed to hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound.

Within hours of the killing the Presidential Program for Human Rights issued a statement saying that the death was the sixth of a trade unionist so far this year – less than half of the real figure. Tarsicio Mora, the leader of the CUT, Colombia's largest trade union federation, slammed the government for providing misleading figures and told reporters that "the policy of extermination of union leaders and especially those of the CUT continues, because we have the courage to distance ourselves from government policies."

The full list of those trade unionists murdered so far this year in Colombia is as follows:

April 4th, Hernan Polo Barrera, member of SITRAENAL, killed in the region of Cordoba

March 27th, Armando Carreno, member of USO, killed in the region of Arauca

March 24th, Ramiro Cuadros Roballo, member of SUTEV, killed in the region of Valle del Cauca

March 21st, Walter Escobar Marin, member of SUTEV, killed in the region of Valle del Cauca

March 21st, Alexander Pinto Gomez, member of ASEINPEC, killed in the region of Santander

March 21st, Jose Alejandro Amado Castillo, member of ASEINPEC, killed in the region of Santander

February 20th, Leoncio Gutierrez, Member of SUTEV, killed in the región of Valle del Cauca

February 15th, Guillermo Antonio Ramirez, member of SER, killed in the region of Risaralda

February 12th, Luis Alberto Arango, member of APALL, killed in the region of Santander

January 28th, Leovigildo Mejia, member of ASOGRAS, killed in the region of Santander

January 16th, Arled Samboni, member of FENSUAGRO, killed in the region of Cauca

January 9th, Diego Ricardo Rasedo Guevara, member of ASOGRAS, killed in the region of Santander

January 1st, Adolfo Tique, member of SINTRAGRITOL, killed in the region of Tolima

See also: Five Trade Unionists Assassinated in Colombia During March



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