Members of Hands Off Venezuela and War on Want joined Colombia Solidarity Campaign on its emergency protest outside the Colombian Embassy in luxurious Knightsbridge, London on 21 December. Picketers demanded the release of Telesur journalist Freddy Muñoz detained by Colombian authorities since 19 November , and handed in a letter of protest demanding that Vice-President Santos withdraws his comments targeting food and drinks workers union SINALTRAINAL.
On 12 December Santos attacked the union’s fight for justice from notorious multinationals Coca Cola, Nestlé and other private corporations, and contended that they are pushed by "sectors of the extreme left, radicals infiltrated into trade union sectors that are generating absolutely absurd campaigns against the corporations". In Colombia this is a green light for paramilitary attack and, following Santos prompt, two days later the ‘Black Eagles’ left a death threat inside the home of Barranquilla SINALTRAINAL activist EURIPIDES YANCE, also targeting his fellow Coca-Cola workers LIMBERTO CARRANZA, CAMPO QUINTERO and several local trade union, student and social movement leaders, as well as defenders of human rights. The Black Eagles gave their targets one week to leave, or else.
Colombia Solidarity calls on Santos, who is formally responsible for human rights within the government, to withdraw his prejudicial comments against SINALTRAINAL, do everything possible to ensure the life and safety of the people targeted in the Black Eagles death threat, and there families and to instigate a thorough criminal investigation into the intellectual and material authors of the death threat.
Christmas and New Year is a notoriously dangerous time for Colombian trade unionists, a killing season when paramilitaries are let off the leash\nfree of international scrutiny. It is therefore particularly important that protests continue worldwide. Further actions are planned in Bristol, Barcelona and Sydney.
Wherever you are, send an urgent message to
Vice-President Francisco Santos
c/o Colombian Embassy,
3 Hans Crescent,
with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org