On 5 June 2002, in the Municipality of Rionegro, Department of Antioquia, JHON JAIRO ALVAREZ CARDONA, member of the National Executive Committee of the Textile Industry Workers of Colombia SINTRATEXTIL, was the victim of an attack at 7 in the evening when he was with his family. He was seriously injured and taken to the regional hospital of San Juan de Dios, where he died on 6 June 2002 at 5am.
On 4 June 2002, in the city of Medellin, Antioquia Department, teacher, ISANAS GOMEZ JARAMILLO, was found dead. He was a member of the Antioquia Teachers Association ADIDA.
On 4 June 2002, in the city of Santa Martha, Magdalena Department, EDUARDO VASQUEZ JIMENEZ was assassinated. The murder took place at 12 midday in the market place when men travelling on a motorbike shot him three times in the head. The comrade was the treasurer of the Magdalena branch of the Electricity Workers Union of Colombia SINTRAELECOL.
On 1 June 2002, in the Municipality of Tuquerres, Narino Department, JAIRO RAMOS was assassinated by a group of men who identified themselves as the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC). He was a member of the Tuquerres branch of the Electricity Workers Union of Colombia SINTRAELECO and had worked for 12 years for the Central Electrical Company of Narino (CENENAR-ESP).
On 1 June 2002, in the city of Villavicencio, Meta Department, ADALBERTO
TUKAMOTO PALOMINO was assassinated. He was an activist in the Meta branch of the Electricity Workers Union of Colombia SINTRAELECOL. He was in the company of his brother, Alvaro Rafael Tukamoto, and his friend, Claribeth Urrea Mendez, who were also killed. The comrade was outstanding for his tireless work in defence of human rights.
The barbaric events mentioned above depict the real situation in Colombia, where there is no respect for human rights and where the State, with the government led by President Andres Pastrana Arango, is ultimately responsible for a savagery which continues with 100 per cent impunity and more than 3,800 unpunished assassinations of trade unionists in the 15 years that our federation has existed.
This deadly situation within the trade union movement brings us to call for solidarity from the national and international community, human rights NGOs, trade unions and other organisations, calling on them to condemn these crimes and call on the Colombian government to provide real guarantees for us to continue our trade union activities.
With all due respect, we call on Dr Juan Somavia, governments, employers and workers with representation in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to take careful note of the GENOCIDE being perpetrated against the United Workers Federation of Colombia (CUT), and that if the government led by President Pastrana does not implement the policies we need to carry out our trade union activities, that the ILO, at its International Labour Conference in this month of June, agrees to undertake a special Investigative Commission to force the Colombian State and its government to focus on the need to stop this genocide against the CUT and the systematic, massive and serious violations of our human rights, which have resulted to date this year in 85 assassinations, 11 assassination attempts and 9 kidnappings, 4 of whom have been released and 7 disappeared.
Jesus Antonio Gonzalez Luna, Director, Human Rights Department
Domingo Rafael Tovar Arrieta, Director, Coordination
Bogota, 6 June 2002
CENTRAL UNITARIA DE TRABAJADORES DE COLOMBIA – CUT