Colombia Solidarity Campaign

- Fighting for Peace with Justice -


Repression Continues Print
Bulletin archive - Issue11 - October ? December 2003
Wednesday, 01 October 2003 01:00

All articles by members of SINALTRAINAL

Attempted Murder of Coca Cola worker and Barrancabermeja SINALTRAINAL leader

On Friday, 22 August 2003, at 12:10pm, a murder attempt was committed against the life of JUAN CARLOS GALVIS, worker at Coca-Cola in Barrancabermeja, President of SINALTRAINAL and the CUT in Barrancabermeja.

While Juan Carlos was being driven to his house, two men who were riding on a motorcycle fired several shots at him, which were repelled by the comrade’s bodyguards, saving his life and preserving his security. The murder attempt was committed 50 meters away from the corner of street 47 and avenue 19, in front of the Colegio Santo Tomas, while he was being driven from the office of the union towards his site of residence.

In Caracol News, 22 August, 7 PM edition, the reporter announced to the entire country that this murder attempt was presumably committed by paramilitaries. Effectively, in the last few months, these groups have been constantly sending threats against the life of Juan Carlos Galvis and other union leaders of SINALTRAINAL and the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores "CUT."
On 20 July, 2001, through his lawyer in the United States, Juan Carlos Galvis presented a lawsuit against the transnational corporation Coca-Cola and other companies for the death threats that he has been a victim of. Other lawsuits alleging human rights violations were presented in the same court in Miami by other victims and by SINALTRAINAL.

On 22 July of this year, in press conference in several cities on five continents, including Barrancabermeja, we announced to the world the beginning of the International Campaign Against Coca-Cola, for the violations that this corporation is committing against the rights of workers and communities. Juan Carlos was responsible for the press conference which took place in Barrancabermeja.

Child of SINALTRAINAL leader tortured

On 10 September 2003 at 1pm in the Boulevard Simon Bolivar in Barranquila, four unknown men, their faces covered by hoods, stopped DAVID JOSE CARRANZA CALLE, the 15 year old son of National SINALTRAINAL leader and Coca Cola worker LIMBERTO CARRANZA, forced him off his bicycle, and bundled him into a white truck. They drove away with him and tortured him, asking him over and over where his father was. At about 4.30pm they dumped him in a place known as “Cañon de la Ahuyama” where he was found by a man who alerted the police.

At the same time, Limberto Carranza received a phone call at his house, saying “son of a bitch trade unionist, we’re going to get you, and if we don’t get you, we’ll blow up your house.”

2,500 jobs threatened in Coke's plants

Coca-Cola FEMSA (Coke's primary bottler in Latin America) just announced plans to close nine bottling plants in Colombia - which would leave 2,500 workers without a job. On 9 September Coca-Cola FEMSA called the workers to meetings in Barrancabermeja, Cartagena, Cúcuta, Duitama, Montería, Neiva, Pereira, Valledupar, and Villavicencio.

The managers announced their plan to close the plants and pressured the workers to resign from their contracts in exchange for a lump-sum payment - "voluntary retirement." The workers were told that if they didn't "resign," they would be dismissed. In Barrancabermeja the workers were given until 4pm that afternoon to resign, and the administration shut down the production line.



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