Unite condemns stigmatisation of trade unionists in Colombia

Unite the Union has written to the British and Irish embassies in Colombia to ask they make representations to the Colombian government over the appalling levels of violence which trade unionists in the country continue to face.

The letter, signed by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, is in response to the murder of FENSUAGRO trade unionist Edgar Hernández in southern Colombia on 23 November. At least ten FENSUAGRO members have been murdered in 2020, and over 30 since the peace agreement was signed four years ago. FENSUAGRO has a formal partnership with Unite through the international trade union organisation, Workers Uniting.

Unite also condemned alleged attempts by congress members belonging to President Iván Duque’s political party, the Democratic Centre, to stigmatise trade union activity. ‘With trade unionists being killed on a regular basis, we condemn in absolute terms these reprehensible actions and call on President Duque to publicly reject the dangerous discourse being promoted by sections of his party,’ wrote McCluskey.

The National Education Union also recently wrote to the Colombian embassy in Britain over right-wing politicians’ attacks on trade unionists. Colombia remains by far the world’s most dangerous country for trade unionists, with new figures showing that 18 have been killed in 2020.

You can read or download the full letter via the link below.