Document - Colombia: Trade union negotiators threatened
UA: 12/13 Index: AMR 23/001/2013 Colombia Date: 21 January 2013
trade union negotiators threatened
Colombian trade union leaders Igor Díaz López and Aldo Raúl Amaya Daza have received telephone death threats. Their lives are in danger.
Two trade union leaders have been threatened in La Guajira Department in north-east Colombia. Igor Díaz López's wife received a call to her mobile phone on 10 January from a man who warned her that he knew what all her family were doing and where she and her daughters were going. Igor Díaz López is the president of the National Trade Union of Coal Industry Workers (Sindicato Nacional de los Trabajadores de la Industria de Carbón, SINTRACARBON). The union's treasurer, Aldo Raúl Amaya Daza, received threatening phone calls on 6, 7 and 8 January. A man called his home in San Juan del Cesar and said, “Tell Amaya to be careful, because he is in our sights” (Dígale a Amaya que se cuide que lo tenemos en la mira). His family saw an armed man outside their home in the town of San Juan del Cesar, in the north-eastern department of La Guajira. The man eventually left the area, when the family came out of the house and neighbours alerted the police.
Igor Díaz López and Aldo Raúl Amaya Daza are part of the negotiating committee of SINTRACARBON. They have been negotiating a labour agreement with a coal company on behalf of the mine workers. On 19 January a first phase of the negotiation ended and workers are about to decide whether to go on strike. Trade unionists face repeated death threats during disputes over labour and attempts to get improved terms and conditions of employment. Paramilitaries have often made telephone death threats to trade unionists.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
Expressing concern for the safety of Igor Díaz López, Aldo Raúl Amaya Daza, their families and other members of SINTRACARBON.
Demanding that the authorities provide protection for those threatened, as agreed with those in danger;
Calling on them to order a full and impartial investigation into the threats against Igor Díaz López and Aldo Raúl Amaya Daza, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 4 MARCH 2013 TO:�
Señor Juan Manuel Santos
Presidente de la República, Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7–26,
Fax: +57 1 596 0631 (keep trying)
Salutation: Dear President Santos/Excmo. Sr. Presidente Santos
Rafael Pardo Rueda
Ministerio de Trabajo
Carrera 14, No.99–33
Fax: +57 1 489 3900 ext 2320
Salutation: Dear Minister/Estimado Ministro
And copies to:
Calle 12A # 11-42
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
trade union negotiators threatened
During Colombia’s long-running armed conflict between the left-wing guerrillas and the armed forces, who at times operate in collusion with paramilitaries, members of human rights organizations, trade unions and other social organizations have often been threatened, subjected to enforced disappearance or killed. Colombia's paramilitary groups supposedly demobilized in a government-sponsored process that began in 2003, but it is clear from the threats against human rights organizations and trade unions that they are still operating.
Colombia has one of the highest rates of killings of trade unionists of any country. Trade unionists face repeated death threats or are killed, during labour disputes and their campaign for improvement of their pay and working conditions. They have been repeatedly threatened and many have been extrajudicially executed or subjected to enforced disappearance, by paramilitaries either acting alone or in collusion with the security forces. In addition, the security forces and paramilitaries often accuse trade unionists of being guerrilla sympathizers or auxiliaries.
Guerrilla forces have also been responsible for killing and threatening those they accuse of collaborating with their enemies.
Members of SINTRACARBON have received death threats while the union has been seeking improved working conditions. On 18 July 2012, Igor Díaz López received death threats and was told that he and his family should leave the country, while he was in a meeting of the union’s negotiating committee. Among those in the leadership of SINTRACARBON who received death threats in recent years is Fredy Lozano, who was threatened after finishing negotiations.
Name: Igor Díaz López and Aldo Raúl Amaya Daza
Gender m/f: both male
UA: 12/13 Index: AMR 23/001/2013 Issue Date: 21 January 2013