Hours after EU – Colombia Free Trade Agreement was signed, another cold-blooded assassination of a Colombian trade unionist occurred 11th December, murdered for his trade union activities inside a multinational company.
On the afternoon of 1th1 December, in the Colombian municipality of Puerto Gaitan, gunmen assassinated Milton Parra Rivas, an operator and electrician at Termotécnica Coindustrial SA, a subcontractor of Spanish-based CEPSA.
Milton Rivas was a leading activist of Union Sindical Obrera (USO), leading the permanent workers assembly at Termotécnica. His murder was preceded by death threats up to the day before the assassination.
The murder occurred the day after Human Rights Day and is the latest in a long series of attacks and threats against trade union members of USO and other unions across the country. The murder came just hours after the signing of a Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Colombia and Peru.
Today’s reality contrasts with the Colombian government’s response to these letters, who mentioned that the government is the first to defend civil liberties and generate action to protect its citizens so that such potential threats and violations of the constitution should be corrected by legal institutions.
The assassination of Milton Rivas is evidence of the persistent anti-union culture and the lack of effective protection in Colombia. In 2011, 29 trade unionists were killed in Colombia.
Please sign the letter to the Columbian Government prepared by global union IndustiAll by clicking here or on the graphic.