Killings of Trade Union Activists Continue in Guatemala

Yet another trade union leader has been brutally murdered in Guatemala for exercising his union activities. The ITUC and its affiliated organisations in Guatemala, the CUSG, CGTG and UNSITRAGUA, have firmly condemned the assassination of Idar Joel Hernández Godoy, finance secretary of the Izabal banana workers’ union SITRABI, affiliated to the CUSG.

This is not the first time a SITRABI member has been the target of deadly anti-union repression. On 10yh April, Oscar Humberto González Vázquez, also a grassroots leader of SITRABI, was found shot dead with 35 bullet wounds.

In a letter to President Colom, the ITUC urged him to take every action necessary to end, once and for all, this tide of anti-union murders and generalised violence, which has risen to even greater heights during his time in office, reminding him, as stated in the Constitution of Guatemala, that “it is the duty of the state to guarantee life, freedom, justice, peace and the full development” of its citizens.

“It is crucial that everything possible be done to track down all those responsible for this latest abominable act,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. “Over three years ago, during the inauguration of the ITUC conference against impunity in Guatemala, President Colom expressed his political resolve and commitment to fight for social justice, genuine rule of law and for an end to impunity in Guatemala”, but unfortunately these promises have gone unfulfilled.

Send a message to the president of Guatemala, Álvaro Colom Caballeros to condemn this latest murder of a banana workers union leader.

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