[Translated by Micheal O Tuathail, a volunteer CSN translator, La Chiva in Canada]
On 27 September 2007, at approximately 4pm, when ANDRES DAMIAN FLOREZ RODRIGUEZ (son of Coca-Cola worker and SINALTRAINAL leader JOSE DOMINGO FLOREZ) was returning home from his high school, he was stopped by three individuals in a red truck. They were carrying guns, had CB radios, and were wearing ski masks. Andres was pulled into the vehicle by force and pushed to the floor while one of the individuals made calls on the radio: “We have the son of a bitch. What do we do with him?” Someone responded, “Take him for a ride, beat him, and give him the message.” The man on the radio turned to Andres. “Tell your father that we won’t stop until you’re cut up into pieces.” Later, they threw him out of the vehicle in an industrial area.
This latest incident against Coca-Cola workers affiliated with SINALTRAINAL and their families comes following death threats received on the following dates: 10 February, 26 July, 9 August, 20 and 25 September of 2007.
It is necessary to point out that, on 24 September 2007, we stated to the Coca-Cola company that SINALTRAINAL will reinvigorate the international campaign, that we will continue to condemn multinational companies for policies that violate human rights, and that we will not cease in spite of the threats and anti-union violence directed against SINALTRAINAL members.
We demand that the Coca-Cola company and the Colombian government cease repression against workers, investigate those materially and intellectually responsible for these incidents, and guarantee the right to life, to association, and to organize.
LUIS JAVIER CORREA SUAREZ
Prior to this incident:
‘AGUILAS NEGRAS’ PARAMILITARIES THREATEN COCA-COLA WORKERS, SINALTRAINAL LEADERS
On 25 September of 2007, at approximately 12:30pm, Domingo Flores, Nelson Perez, and Luis Eduardo Garcia, after leaving a forum convened by ASTDEMP with the Bucaramanga mayoral and Santander gubernatorial candidates, opened the door of the SINALTRAINAL office in Bucaramanga and found a manila envelope. Upon opening it, they found the following message:
Every order is carried out.
Communist guerrillas disguised as unionists: Javier Correa, Luis Garcia El Alias.
Stop the ideological guerrilla talk.
Get out of the department.
If you don’t, we will have to carry out our military objective to give your families your bodies in a mass grave for Christmas.
The Public Prosecutor will not save your lives.
This is the last warning we will give.
Don’t make us kill more.
Terrorists of the multinationals.
The Aguilas Negras want blood.
Your philosophy to defend the unprotected is an impossible goal. Nobody believes it.
We know the movements of your families.
We want you without having to spill their blood.
The demobilized will carry out the social cleansing.
Fucking communists. You will be cut up into pieces.
Merry Christmas. Aguilas Negras.”
Other threats were received by SINALTRAINAL leaders Nelson Perez, Luis Eduardo Garcia, Domingo Flores, and Javier Correa on 10 February, 26 July, and 20 September of 2007.
This latest death threat comes the day after we were at a public hearing in Bogotá, convened by the Penal Court of Valledupar, where Luis Javier Correa Suarez and other SINALTRAINAL members were witnesses in the procedures against paramilitaries materially responsible for the murder of our brother, Luciano Romero.
This calls to attention that in the past days we reported to the authorities a phone call made to the Coca-Cola company by a ‘supposed paramilitary,’ asking for a company representative so that he may interview an ex-employee and former union leader currently held in prison. He wanted to make a deal in exchange for information about presumed illicit acts that some union members may have participated in.
We believe that these threats are means for creating terror, stigmatizing, and possibly trying to justify incriminating SINALTRAINAL members for not having given in to blackmail. From jail, the paramilitary Saúl Rincón and the policies of companies like Coca-Cola, Nestle, among others, and the Colombian government work against those of us who are protesting violations against workers’ rights.
We demand that the Colombian government investigate these incidents, punish those materially and intellectually responsible, protect the lives of SINALTRAINAL members and those of our families, and guarantee the rights of association and to organize.
Send letters of protest to:
Vicepresidencia de la República
Dr. Francisco Santos
Vicepresidencia de la República
Programa Presidencial de Derechos Humanos y de Derecho Internacional Humanitario.
Dr. Carlos Franco
Calle 7 N° 5-54
TEL: (+571) 336.03.11
FAX: (+57 1) 337.46.67
E- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org <http://mail.yahoo.com/config/login?/ym/Compose?Toemail@example.com>
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org <http://mail.yahoo.com/config/login?/ym/Compose?Toemail@example.com>
Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
Representante Permanente de la OIT en Colombia
Dr. Marcelo Castro Fox
Dirección: Av. 82. No. 12-18 Oficina: 504.
Teléfono: 623 75 86.
Procuraduría General de la Nación
Dr. Edgardo José Maya Villazón
Carrera 5 No. 15-80
Santa Fe de Bogotá.
Fax: (+57 1)342.97.23
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org <http://es.f257.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?Toemail@example.com> ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Fiscalía General de la Nación
Dr. Mario Iguarán
Diagonal 22 B No.52-01
Santa fe de Bogotá.
Fax: (+571) 570 20 00
E-mail: email@example.com <http://es.f257.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?Tofirstname.lastname@example.org> ; email@example.com <http://es.f257.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?Tofirstname.lastname@example.org>
Unidad de Derechos Humanos y de Derecho Internacional Humanitario
E – mail: email@example.com <http://es.f257.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?Tofirstname.lastname@example.org>
Defensoría del Pueblo
Dr. Volmar Antonio Pérez Ortiz.
Calle 55 No. 10-32
Santa Fe de Bogotá.
Fax: (+571) 640 04 91
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621