The University and College Union (UCU), which represents around 130,000 higher education staff in Britain and Northern Ireland, has urged the Colombian government to take action to guarantee the safety of trade unionists following the recent murders of two trade unionists employed at the University del Valle in Cali. Misael Fernando Ávila Solarte was killed on 1 May and Mauricio Fory Balanta on 3 May.
In a letter to the Colombian embassy, signed by UCU general secretary Jo Grady, UCU condemned ongoing violence against trade unionists and called for an end to anti-trade union rhetoric from right-wing politicians which it said ‘potentially encourages hostility towards trade unionists.’
UCU has long worked alongside Justice for Colombia in support of trade union rights, human rights and peace in Colombia. Several of its members have met with Colombian trade unionists, activists, politicians and conflict victims in both Britain and Colombia.
You can read or download the letter below.