Colombia’s largest guerrilla group, FARC, sent death threats to trade union leaders in the northwestern region of the country, local media reported on Monday.
The General Conferedation of Labor (CGT) announced that leaders of their Antioquia branch on Friday recieved death threats and that their head office was defaced with FARC slogans. According to the union, pamphlets left at the office specifically threatened the lives of three CGT leaders — Albeiro Franco Valderrama, Adolfo Tabares and Euclides Gomez.
“On the morning of January 18, FARC terrorists left at our Uraba branch in Antioquia pamphelets which contained death threats were made to Albeiro Franco Valderrama, Tabares and Euclid Adolfo Gomez and all the other leaders of the CGT union in Antioquia.”
The CGT has called for police to provide strong security measures for its members in Antioquia in order to ensure their safety and that of their families. The letter also called for government negotiators involved in the ongoing peace talks in Cuba to tell their FARC counterparts to refrain from ordering the extermination of union leaders.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), more trade unionists are murdered annually in Colombia than in any other country in the world. Also, authorities have obtained convictions for less than “10 percent of the more than 2,900 trade unionist killings reported…since 1986.”