Armed assailants murder member of USO oil workers trade union

A trade unionist in the USO oil workers union, Jhon Jarry Vargas Sarabia, was shot dead in Tibú, Norte de Santander, on Thursday 9 May. Reports said that two armed men attacked Jhon as he left a gymnasium. The 45-year-old worked as a mechanical engineer on facilities belonging to state oil company Ecopetrol. The regional committee of USO called for urgent investigations to identify and apprehend the killers.

USO has worked closely with British trade unions for several years, with JFC facilitating Unite and UNISON co-funding a project launched in 2017 to establish an USO presence in the Meta region. USO members have also met on multiple occasions with British trade unionists in Colombia and Britain.

Despite the progressive government’s efforts to guarantee trade union rights through its labour reform bill and to address insecurity against trade unionists and activists, Colombia remains by far the world’s deadliest country for organised labour. In March-April, three teacher trade unionists affiliated to the FECODE education workers federation were killed.