submitted by IBEW retiree and PDA member Bob Schmetzer
Worker of Nestle Foods la Rosa and Member of SINALTRAINAL in Colombia Assasinated
With deep pain, we inform that on August 21st, 2009 at approximately 6:30pm, strangers arrived to the house and knocked on the door of Gustavo Gomez worker of Nestle Foods la Rosa SA and affiliate of Sinaltrainal in the Municipality of Dosquebras. When Gustavo Gomez opened the door, they shot him 10 times with a fire arm. He was immediately transported to the Comfamiliar clinic where hours later he passed away.
Our brother Gustavo Gomez was member of the Sinaltrainal Board of Directors of the Dosquebradas sector from 1997 until 2000. He was first cousin to Jose de Jesus Marin Vargas, worker of Nestle Foods La Rosa SA and member of Sinaltrainal who was also assasinated on November 22, 2007 in the Dosquebradas municipality.
Sadly, this crime came about in moments when Sinaltrainal has presented a sheet of petitions to the business Nestle Purina Petcare of Colombia and there are already 12 assasinations of Nestle workers, members of Sinaltrainal in Colombia.
We have previously denounced in the presence of authorities the permanent death threats that we have recieved as members of Sinaltrainal in Colombia and the authorities do not investigate nor punish those responsible. The Governements invests work in publicity to make the international community believe that labor unionists are protected in Colombia, while all that we continue to receive from the regime of President Alvaro Uribe Velez is stigmatization, persecution, and the murders continue.
We demand that the Colombian State investigate and punish those responsible for committing the crime and who were the intellectual authors, to protect the life of Sinaltrainal members and guarantee the right of union activity.
Luis Javier Correa Suarez
Progressive Democrats of America Opposes US Trade and Military Policy with Columbia
- More trade unionists have been murdered in Colombia in the last five years than in the rest of the world combined
- In 2007, 39 trade unionists were murdered, down from the 72 murdered in 2006 but increasing the total murdered since 1991 to over 2,200 workers
- Virtually no one is prosecuted for these murders, with less than 2% of murderers prosecuted and convicted
- Colombia is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid outside of the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan, with about 65% of aid going to the Colombian military
- Colombia and the U.S. have signed a Free Trade Agreement that is now awaiting a Congressional vote.