On 15 January 2018, paramilitary death threats were delivered to the main Valle del Cauca offices of Colombia’s main trade union body, the Central Unit of Workers (CUT, the national equivalent of the TUC).
Signed by Gaitanista Self-Defence Forces (AGC), the pamphlet threatened individual trade unionists and social leaders for supposed membership of the FARC and ELN. The accusations are totally unfounded and a common tactic of paramilitary terror groups in Colombia to murder and repress those working in labour and human rights.
The CUT subsequently called on the government to implement security guarantees for all those mentioned in the pamphlet.
This included the following organisations:
CUT Valle, MOVICE, CUT Cauca, NÓMADES, Cabildo Cerro Tijeras, Partido Comunista Colombiano, Marcha Patriótica, Congreso de los Pueblos, CGT and CTC
It also included the following individuals:
Martha Giraldo – MOVICE; Walter Agredo – Congreso de los Pueblos; Wilson Sáenz, Antonio Gutiérrez and Hernán Arciniegas – CUT Valle; José Milciades Sánchez – SINTRAUNICOL; Omar Romero – Patriotic March; Rosalba Castillo – Afroamérica 21; Adelina Vásquez – African-Colombian community leader; Diego Escobar – legal representative; Meraldiño Caviche and Enrique Guetio – Council of Cerro Tijeras; and Feliciano Valencia – indigenous leader.
So far in 2018, at least 24 social leaders have been murdered. Over 170 were murdered in 2017.