. Thirty-Eight Trade Unionists Assassinated in Colombia in 2008 | London Progressive Journal
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Thirty-Eight Trade Unionists Assassinated in Colombia in 2008

Fri 29th Aug 2008

The assassination this weekend of trade union leader Jose Omar Galeano in the Colombian city of Buga, brings to 38 the number of trade unionists affiliated to the CUT union federation who have been murdered in the country so far this year. Mr Galeano, the national leader of the lottery workers union FECOLOC, was shot dead at approximately 10pm on Saturday 23rd August. He was also a regional activist in the 'Polo Democratico' opposition party.

According to an August 25th communiqué from the CUT trade union federation 38 members of unions affiliated to the federation have now been killed – a 40% increase over the number of trade unionists murdered during the same period last year.

The CUT has also expressed grave concern over the attitude of the Colombian authorities to the killings and says that they are "attempting to divert attention and concern away from the violence against the Colombian trade union movement". They also point out that in the vast majority of cases in which a trade unionist is murdered, nobody is ever brought to justice.

Justice for Colombia has so far documented 35 of the 38 assassinations that have occurred during 2008:

1. Mario Zuluaga, activist in the health workers union ASMEDAS, killed January 2nd in the city of Medellin.


2. Israel Alfonso Perez Montes, activist in the mine workers union SINTRAMIENERGETICA, killed January 11th in the city of Valledupar, Cesar department.


3. Ramiro de Jesus Zapata, leader of the teachers' union ADIDA, killed January 12th in the town of San Jeronimo, Antioquia department.


4. Israel Gonzalez, regional leader of the agricultural workers union FENSUAGRO, killed January 24th in the town of San Antonio, Tolima department.


5. Jose Suarez Leal, leader of the prison officers union ASEINPEC, killed January 28th in the town of Bello, Antioquia department.


6. Jose Martin Duarte, leader of the environmental workers union SINTRAMBIENTE, killed February 2nd in the town of Macarena, Meta department.


7. Maria del Carmen Mesa Pasochoa, activist in the teachers union ASEDAR, killed February 8th in the town of Tame, Arauca department.


8. Samboni Arley Benavides, activist in the health workers union ANTHOC, killed February 9th in the town of Balboa, Cauca department.


9. Maria Teresa Trujillo, activist in the teachers union ASOINCA, killed February 9th in the town of Santander de Quilichao, Cauca department.


10. Jose Giraldo Mamian, activist in the teachers union ASOINCA, killed February 9th in the town of La Vega, Cauca department.


11. Carmen Cecilia Ramirez, leader of the teachers union ASINORT, killed March 4th in the town of Ocana, Norte de Santander department.


12. Gildardo Antonio Gomez, activist in the teachers union ADIDA, killed March 7th in the city of Medellin.


13. Leonidas Gomez Rozo, activist in the bank workers' union UNEB and regional leader of the CUT trade union federation, killed March 8th in the city of Bogota.


14. Carlos Burbano, regional leader of the health workers union ANTHOC, killed March 12th in the town of San Vicente del Caguan, Caqueta department.


15. Julio Cesar Trochez, activist in the teachers union SUTEV, killed March 12th in the town of Sevilla, Vale del Cauca department.


16. Victor Manual Munoz, activist in the teachers union ADUCESAR, killed March 12th in the town of Codazzi, Cesar department.


17. Manuel Antonio Jimenez, activist in the agricultural workers union FENSUAGRO, killed March 15th in the town of Puerto Asis, Putumayo department.


18. Jose Fernando Quiroz, activist in the agricultural workers union FENSUAGRO, killed March 15th in the town of Puerto Asis, Putumayo department.


19. Jose Gregorio Astros, member of the prison officers union ASEINPEC, killed March 18th in the city of Cartago, Valle del Cauca department.


20. Adolfo Gonzalez Montes, regional leader of the mine workers union SINTRACARBON, killed March 22nd in the city of Riohacha, la Guajira department.


21. Luz Mariela Diaz Lopez, activist in the teachers union ASEP, killed April 1st in Valle del Guamuez, Putumayo department.


22. Emerson Ivan Herrera, activist in the teachers union ASEP, killed April 1st in Valle del Guamuez, Putumayo department.


23. Rafael Antonio Leal Medina, activist in the teachers union AICA, killed April 4th in the town of Guayabal, Tolima department.


24. Omar Ariza, activist in the teachers union SUTEV, killed April 7th in the town of Sevilla, Valle del Cauca department.


25. Luis Enrique Gutierrez, activist in the adult education workers union SINDESENA, killed April 15th in the town of Tausa, Cundinamarca department.


26. Jesus Heberto Caballero Ariz, leader of the adult education workers union SINDESENA, killed April 16th in the city of Barranquilla.


27. Guillermo Rivera, leader of the public sector workers union SINSERPUB, killed on April 23rd in the city of Bogota.


28. Tomas Alberto Chiquillo Pascual, leader of the agricultural workers union SINTRAPALMA, killed May 10th in the town of San Angel, Magdalena department.


29. Luis Orlando Gelves, activist in the agricultural workers union FENSUAGRO, killed May 11th in the town of Nuevo Oriente, Arauca department.


30. Marcelo Vergara Sanchez, activist in the teachers union SUTEV, killed June 5th in the town of Buga, Valle del Cauca department.


31. Favier Dario Pelaez Castano, activist in the prison officers union ASEINPEC, killed June 12th in the town of Caicedonia, Valle del Cauca department.


32. Walter Anibal Recalde Ordonez, activist in the prison officers union ASEINPEC, killed June 19th in the town of Buga, Valle del Cauca department.


33. Jose Humberto Munoz Guarin, activist in the teacher union SUTEV, killed June 22nd in the town of Restrepo, Valle del Cauca department.


34. Luis Mayusa Prada, activist in the agricultural workers union FENSUAGRO, killed on August 8th in the town of Saravena, Arauca department.


35. Jose Omar Galeano, leader of the lottery workers union FECOLOC, killed August 23rd in the town of Buga, Valle del Cauca department.
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