TAKE ACTION: Trade Unionist in Grave Danger
News from Colombia |
on: Tuesday, 7 April 2009
Justice for Colombia hopes that supporters will send messages to the Colombian authorities demanding that measures be taken to protect the life of trade union leader David Martinez who lives in the Colombian region of Meta. The life of Mr Martinez, the Vice President of the SINTRAGRIM trade union, is believed to be in grave danger after he received a telephone death threat on Sunday evening. Mr Martinez, who is also active in the National Movement of Victims (an organisation that campaigns against human rights abuses), has also told Justice for Colombia that he has been being followed and harassed for some months now.
Please find to follow a letter that we hope you will send to the Colombian Ambassador in London regarding Mr Martinez:
Her Excellency Noemi Sanin
Colombian Ambassador to the United Kingdom
3 Hans Crescent
I am writing to request that you government take immediate measures to safeguard the life of David Martinez, the Vice President of the trade union SINTRAGRIM.
On April 5th 2009 at 6.18pm Mr Martinez received a telephone call on his mobile phone during which he was threatened and I am deeply concerned for his safety.
Six weeks previously, on February 22nd, two men on a motorcycle which had no license plate approached Mr Martinez in the city of Villavicencio, capital of Meta department, at around 9.30 in the morning as he walked through the Nohora neighbourhood. The men threatened him and several witnesses subsequently gave statements to that effect.
Unidentified men have also been following Mr Martinez and, on March 9th, a strange individual who refused to identify himself arrived at his office, also in Villavicenio, saying that he needed to meet with the trade union leader and claiming, falsely, that he had an appointment with him.
I am also aware that in September last year Mr Martinez's home in Villavicencio was raided by the security forces.
As you will no doubt be aware, such incidents regularly precede assassinations of trade unionists and I would therefore welcome information from you as to what steps have been taken to investigate the threats and other harassment of Mr Martinez and what measures have been taken to safeguard his life.
I look forward to hearing from you.