Colombia’s Central Union of Workers (CUT) has demanded constitutional guarantees for the exercise of trade union rights following an attack suffered by one of its members on Thursday.
The CUT has asked the Colombian government to investigate and clarify the chemical attack against Alvaro Jose Vega, a member of the CUT Executive Committee, according to Latin American news agency Prensa Latina.
“We call on the national, state, and local governments to answer for what happened as part of the investigation and clarification of the attack, as well as secure constitutional guarantees for the exercise of trade union rights,” read an official online statement by CUT President Luis Alejandro Pedraza and Secretary Fabio Arias Giraldo.
Vega, who was recently appointed to the position of Director of Legal Affairs,”was attacked Thursday, June 26 in the morning by people who threw an unknown chemical substance that caused burns to his face,” the statement said.
Vegas still currently remains under hospital care.
The CUT has subsequently alerted all its members yesterday to the ongoing violence against trade unionism in the country.
Colombia is one of the nations with the highest rates of murders and threats committed against this sector, Prensa Latina reported.
According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), 2,800 trade unionists have been murdered since 1984, along with over 3,000 threatened and nearly 200 more attacked.
Many of these crimes remain unpunished.
A report by Colombia’s National Labor School shows that over the past year, violence has increased against the trade union movement, with 26 murders, 13 attempted murders, 149 threats, and 28 cases of harassment, according to Prensa Latina.
- Exigen a Gobierno colombiano garantías para los sindicalistas (Prensa Latina)
- Atentado Contra Ejecutivo De La CUT National (CUT Official Website)