Update: Shot Labour Lawyer Dies, his Family is Threatened

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 2 June 2011

Hernan Dario Escobar

Hernan Dario Escobar

Hernan Dario Escobar the 57 year-old Colombian labour lawyer shot on May 13th has died of his wounds in hospital.

Mr Dario led the defence of Colombian sugar-cane workers arrested during a strike in 2008, ensuring their release. Some media sources have tried to insinuate that his shooting was linked to a previous legal case where he had represented narco-traffickers. These claims are based on a statement by a Colombian police General. However, Mr Dario was also a long-standing legal adviser of the SINTRAEMCALI public sector trade union and of COOTRAEMCALI, the trade union's credit union.

On May 31st Carlos Hernán Escobar, the son of the assassinated lawyer, received death threats from an anonymous caller who claimed responsibility for the shooting of his father. The threat was aimed against the firm that both father and son worked for, and included the names of the following lawyers: Patricia Bustos, Liliana Gómez, Jairo Potes, Germán Prieto, Jairo Balcazar, Wilson Gallego.

Trade union and human rights lawyers in Colombia are often accused of the similar crimes to their clients, and have faced severe persecution with many assassinated over previous years.

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