Hundreds of crimes against unionists, including murders and disappearances, during former President Alvaro Uribe‘s administration have been asked to be investigated.
Several entities including the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), have asked the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open an investigation on up to 775 crimes committed against trade unionists in Colombia between 2002 and 2012 mostly during Uribe’s presidency (2002-2010), Caracol Radio reported.
“In this wave of attacks on trade unionists which include kidnappings, harassment, threats, attacks and killings, it proves that there was a clear order to attack trade union movements, where defense ministers, senior military commanders and the chairman of the era, as high as the commander of military forces were involved,” said Alirio Uribe, the president of the Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective (CAJAR) which, along with the ECCHR, has brought the investigation to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
According to figures turned into the ICC, there were 3,785 cases of threats, 455 arbitrary detentions, and 361 harassment cases against unionists. There were also 775 murders and 61 disappearances of unionists, all taking place in the 10-year period, eight of which were under the Uribe administration.
Wolfgang Kaleck, Secretary General of the ECCHR, stated that in relation to the multitude of crimes committed against unionists, “it is imperative that the international criminal court open a formal investigation. The heads of the international crimes committed in Colombia should be held ultimately accountable,” reported CAJAR’s website.
Apparently CAJAR has only been able to identify 10% of the perpetrators of the murders, of which 50% have been ruled upon.