Trade unionist murdered in Villavicencio

Another Colombian trade unionist has been murdered, taking the number of fatal attacks on trade unionists to at least 18 so far in 2018.

On Sunday 4 November, Edilberto Niño Cristancho was attacked by two men as he got into a taxi in the city of Villavicencio, around 45 miles south of Bogota. He received multiple stab wounds in the attack, before being taken to a hospital where he died of his injuries.

Edilberto was a senior member of the Sintraimagra trade union for workers in the palm oil industry.

A Sintraimagra statement said that Edilberto was coordinating programmes to formalise workers and strengthen trade unionism in the area. The programme was being overseen by the CUT trade union confederation which has accused palm oil companies of violating labour rights.

The attack comes less than two weeks after FENSUAGRO trade union María Caicedo Muñoz was abducted from her home in Cauca and subsequently murdered. In September, Colombia’s National Trade Union School found that violence against trade unionists has risen substantially in 2018.

As has been the case for decades, Colombia is the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists. It is also among the ten worst for general labour rights.