UNITE Condemns Ongoing Persecution of FENSUAGRO in Letter to Colombian Government
Justice For Colombia News |
on: Tuesday, 10 January 2012
The General Secretary of UNITE the Union, Len McCluskey has again written to the Colombian Government today to express the union’s dismay at the ongoing persecution of their sister union, FENSUAGRO – the Colombian Agricultural Workers’ Union.
In the letter, the case of six leading FENSUAGRO activists who have been unjustly imprisoned is highlighted. UNITE, who is campaigning for the freedom of the six, has repeatedly called on the Colombian authorities to cease the practice of imprisoning trade union activists. Mr McCluskey says, “We wrote on 11th August 2011 regarding the unjust imprisonment of six FENSUAGRO members - Alexis Antonio Arroyo, Eulogio Tapiero Galindo, Manuel Antonio Marquez and Telmo Cuero Tegue on 22nd June, Climaco de la Cruz Rodriguez on 30th July and Faustino Carabali Rodriguez on 7th August. Despite highlighting their cases to the Colombian authorities, all six continue to be held in Mocoa Prison, Putumayo on charges of “rebellion”.”
The letter also raises concerns about recent attacks on their defence lawyer Edgar Montilla Gonzalez.
The letter ends by stating that “It is clear that there is little political will to improve the human rights situation for trade unionists in Colombia. The cases mentioned above are just six of around 75 members of Fensuagro currently imprisoned and many more continue to face threats, false accusations, assassinations and forced displacement. As you are aware, UNITE has a long and close relationship with FENSUAGRO, having recently signed a partnership agreement. We consider an attack against one of their members as if it were an attack against one of our own.”
To read the letter in full click on document to the right.