University Union Denounces Repression

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 20 May 2011

SINTRAUNICOL, the Colombian union of university workers and employees, has expressed its anger at the expulsion of Lina Sofia Duran, a mathematics student at the Santander Industrial University in the city of Bucaramanga. Since her expulsion on April 29th students at the university have been on hunger strike, calling on the university authorities to reinstate her.

According to SINTRAUNICOL, the decision to expel Ms Duran was taken in order to “teach a lesson” to those who have publicly exposed the penetration of the university by paramilitary forces and who have highlighted the danger this poses to the lives of students and employees of the university.

The union has also been victim of unjust and arbitrary actions taken by the university authorities, as in 2008, when several union leaders had disciplinary cases opened against them in order to intimidate union members and silence the criticism of the university’s links to paramilitaries.

The union has called on the authorities to respect the law and stop what it calls “the criminalisation of the trade union and student struggle”.



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