On 26August, the leadership of SINTRAUNICOL – CALI (University Workers Union of Colombia) received a leaflet from the ¨AUTODEFENSAS UNIDAS DE COLOMBIA BLOQUE CONJUNTO CALIMA – PACÍFICO¨ (Self Defence Forces of Colombia – Joint Block Calima-Pacifico) that arrived by certified post addressed to our comrade CARLOS A. GONZALEZ, Treasurer of our union organisation. The text branded SINTRAUNICOL's Cali branch and other trade union and political organizations as "puppets of the guerrillas" [translators note: literally blind pegs of the subversive tricksters]. The leaflet called on their friends and networks in the communities of Ladera, the District of Agua Blanca and popular sectors to search them out and declare war on these ‘useful fools’ of the guerrilla.
This threat appears precisely at the moment when an election campaign is taking place in professional bodies, organs of executive and legislative power in the Department of Valle de Cauca, and opposition is being organised against the ‘referendum’. As workers in this country we are all committed to developing an active campaign of abstention.
We are well aware of the dark activities that the bourgeoisie are prepared to undertake in order to push forward their Project of power and domination over the people, but we are not going to be scared off with these tactics of intimidation. We will continue to move forward in the campaign and for the strengthening of the unity of workers to develop a national project that we dream of for ourselves and our family.
Colombia Solidarity Campaign adds – write to:
Wilson Arrias Threatened
Wilson Arias Castillo, a leader of the further education union SINDESENA and a member of the national union fedreation CUT’s excutive committee has received death threats from the paramilitary AUC. Wilson is also an active member of the Social and Political Front (FSP). Earlier this year management of the FE insitute SENA withdrew finance for Wilson’s security scheme. The FSP calls for a reestablishment of protective measures.
On 22 September students of the University of Valle were injured and arbitrarily detained during a protest to stop the privatisation of EMCALI E.I.C.E. A contingent of military police, several plainclothes intelligence operatives and four uniformed officers riding high powered motorcycles fired shots at demonstrators and students who were leaving their classes. The University was completely surrounded by police, but the students continued with their protest. Some managed to leave, and marched to the Valle de Lili Clinic to demand that an injured student be treated. Several studentswere arrested.