The international trade union Workers Uniting has written to Colombia’s ambassador to Britain over the murder of trade unionist and human rights defender Jayder Quintana, who was shot dead in Cajibío, southwest Colombia, on 3 October. Workers Uniting is formed of Unite the Union, as well as the largest private sector union in North America, the United Steelworkers, and Mexico’s Los Mineros for workers in the national mining industry.
18-year-old Jayder was a member of the FENSUAGRO agricultural trade union which has a formal partnership with Workers Uniting. Since the peace agreement was signed in November 2016, at least 30 FENSUAGRO members have been killed. Colombia remains the world’s most dangerous country for labour organising, according to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
The letter also expressed serious concern over ongoing human rights violations in Colombia, including the sharp rise in massacres committed in 2020. The Cauca region, where Cajibío is located, has seen more attacks and murders of social activists than anywhere else in the country. In May 2019, Jayder attended a meeting in Cajibío between local communities impacted by human rights violations and a delegation of the Justice for Colombia Peace Monitor, which was formed of British and Irish parliamentarians and trade unionists.