An oil union leader and his wife were killed Tuesday in front of their children in southwestern Colombia.
Mauricio Arrendondo and his wife Janeth Ordoñez Carlosama were assassinated during the night by two hitmen on January 17, at their home in the southwestern department of Putamayo, according to a statement released by the petroleum trade union USO.
Community leader Arrendondo, who lived in the municipality of Puerto Asis, worked for petroleum service company PEI Energy. On January 13 he had taken part in a regional petroleum forum in Putamayo.
A USO spokesperson said, “We blame this on Colombian State and Ecopetrol for their negligence and slow action in preventing aggression and attempts against our union. We are asking human rights organizations and trade unions both national and international to reject these crimes, and we ask the national government and Ecopetrol to answer for the security of USO members.
“We demand that the judicial authorities carry out an investigation to clarify the facts and bring those responsible to justice to prevent impunity in this case.”
In the Putumayo department PEI Energy is contracted by Ecopetrol, Colombia’s state-run oil company.
In December Colombia Reports reported on death threats being issued to USO members by paramilitaries in the Eastern Plains region of Colombia.