The president of Colombia’s General Confederation of Workers union (CGT), Julio Roberto Gomez, met with President Alvaro Uribe to express concern that seventeen trade unionists have been murdered so far this year in the Andean nation, reports W Radio.
Uribe responded by ordering the Ministry for the Interior to speed up the judicial process and prevent the situation spreading, with a new strategy of offering rewards for information leading to the capture of trade unionists’ murderers.
Gomez acknowledged that there have been improvements in fighting the impunity of those who attack trade unionists, and said that, according to figures from the prosecutor general, some 300 people are currently being detained for this type of crime.
The CGT isn’t alone in denouncing the murders of trade unionists. The Washington Office on Latin America, an NGO based in the U.S. capital, has also called for a reduction in the murder rate of Colombian unionists before the U.S. implements its free trade agreement with the country.
The Canadian Auto Workers Union has cited the murder of labor leaders as an argument against Canada’s free trade agreement with the South American country.