Almost half of the 101 trade unionists murdered worldwide in 2009 were Colombian, according to a report released Wednesday by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
According to the report 48 Colombian trade unionists were assassinated last year. Twenty-six of these were union leaders, of whom five were women.
The number of unionists assassinations worldwide in 2009 increased 30% from to the previous year, when 76 were murdered.
Guy Ryder, the secretary general of the ITUC, said “Colombia has returned to being the country in which to defend fundamental worker’s rights means, with more likelihood than in any other country, a death sentence, despite the government’s public relations campaigns [to] the contrary.”
The report goes on to state that of the 2,000 trade unionists fired from their jobs in 2009, the majority were from Colombia.
Statistics collected by the ITUC also show that the majority of the ten assassination attempts and 35 death threats registered were suffered by Colombian trade unionists.
The other countries named in the report were Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Bangladesh, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Philippines, India, Iraq and Nigeria.