Friday, February 16, 2007

DEATH THREATS AGAINST SINALTRAINAL

At about 10:30 a.m. on 10 February we learnt of the contents of an envelope thrown by unknown persons under the door of the offices of ASTDEMP trade union, which functions as the Santander regional headquarters for the (trade union federation) CUT. The office is at floor 2, No 14 - 09, 42nd Street, Bucaramanga. The envelope contained the following threat against members of SINALTRAINAL who work in the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Bucaramanga:

AUC BLACK EAGLES

The demobilized [paramilitaries] of Magdalena Medio - Black Eagles make a call to the terrorist Coca-Cola trade unionists Javier Correa, Luis Garcia (alias El Chile), Domingo Flores (alias Fatty) and Nelson Perez that they stop bad mouthing the Coca-cola corporation given they have caused enough damage already, stop this campaign against corporations in Santander that help the f**ked of this country. [If there is] no response we declare them military targets of the Black Eagles as they prefer - death, torture, cut into pieces, coup de grace - in Magdalena Medio style - this defines you as terrorists of the guerrillas - no more noisy fuss - remember our commander Mancuso does not like noise. "

This threat comes after the claim by Vice-President Francisco Santos on radio Caracol News of 12 December 2006, in reference to the Attorney General's investigation into Colombian football clubs, that "there are campaigns to malign Coca-Cola and Nestlé as well as other private corporations led by sectors of the extreme radical left, infiltrated in trade unions, that are generating absolutely absurd campaigns against the corporations".

Several of the threatened comrades have been unjustly imprisoned, have suffered previous attempts on their lives, their families have been victims of attempted disappearances, they are permanently under legal sanction by Coca-Cola, suspended from their work contracts, and its precisely at this time that we confront employer's attempt to thwart the incorporation of the union's executive committee in Bucaramanga, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Social Protection. We are suffering a dirty campaign in the Coca-Cola bottling plant against the National President of SINALTRAINAL and other comrades, with the purpose of creating terror and confusion.

We hold the government of Álvaro Uribe Vélez and all its officials responsible for the form of their public accusations against trade unionists and the opposition. This demonstrates that the process of demobilisation of the paramilitaries is purely rhetorical, since the death threats, assassinations, displacement, criminalisation and torture and other like practices are all continuing.

We demand that the government and the corporations guarantee the lives of the trade unionists and our right to association.

Yours,

LUIS JAVIER CORREA SUAREZ
President, SINALTRAINAL
Bogotá D.C., 10 Febrero 2007

[Colombia Solidarity Campaign adds:

We apologise for not having a pre-prepared model letter. Nonetheless we urge all readers to send e-mails, and letters to the Colombian authorities and to Coca-Cola Corporation expressing concern.

In the UK, write to: Colombian Embassy in UK E-mail: mail@colombianembassy.co.uk
Write to Charlotte Oades, President, Coca-Cola Great. Britain, 1 Queen Caroline Street, London W6 9HQ

In the United States, write to: Carolina Barco Isakson, Colombian Embassy, 2118 Leroy Place, NW, Washington, DC 20008 Phone: (202) 387 8338 Fax: (202) 232 8643 emwas@colombiaemb.org

In Canada, write to: Jaime Giron Duarte, Colombian Embassy, 360 Albert Street, Suite 1002, Ottawa, ON. - K1R 7X7 Tels: (613) 230-3760/1 Fax: (613) 230-4416 embajada@embajadacolombia.ca

In the U.S. and Canada, call: 1-800-GET-COKE

To find out contact information in other countries, click here.

with a copy to the Colombia Solidarity Campaign E-mail: info@colombiasolidarity.org.uk

Click here to see the threatening note superimposed over a map.

[Via Killer Coke]