Trade unionist assassinated in Cauca

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 23 June 2017

A trade unionist has been tortured and assassinated in the department of Cauca, south-west Colombia. Mauricio Fernando Velez López was taken by force by 12 hooded and armed men from a farm in the municipality of Buenos Aires at 9pm on the evening of Wednesday 21 June. The unidentified men, who stated that they had come for the trade union leader, first beat and tied up the other people present in the farm and locked them in a room.

Mauricio's body was found on Thursday morning with a gunshot wound to the head and signs of torture.

He was the Vice-president of the national committee of the National Public University Workers' Union (SINTRAUNAL), a teacher at the Universidad del Valle and was the former manager of the football club América de Cali.

SINTRAUNAL have denounced the continued attacks against trade unionists and social leaders throughout Colombia, warning of the presence of paramilitary groups in Cauca and the failure of the Colombian state to take action against them.

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