Trade union murders in Colombia continue

The Geneva-based UN body the International Labour Organisation has decided to send a High Level Tripartite Mission to Colombia to investigate why the death rate amongst trade unionists hasn't fallen.

This week the TUC has protested about the murder of Hernán Abdiel Ordoñez Dorado, a prison workers' union leader in Cali, gunned down by men on a motorbike (a frighteningly common method of assassination in Colombia), after he spoke out about management corruption at a woman's prison. Last week, the TUC protested about the murders of  Leslien Blanco and Francisco Abello.

The Colombian Government says that such murders are fewer than in previous years (actually the death rate has been pretty similar for the last few years), that they are pouring money into investigating them (although the clear-up rate is less than 3%) and sometimes even that these are crimes of passion (rather undermined by the intervention of men on motorbikes, and certainly undermined by the frequency with which public protests about corruption, low wages and so precede the killings)!

In reality, the Colombian government is at least complicit in these killings, which help terrorise the opposition and assist the government in destroying collective bargaining in Colombia.

Owen Tudor

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