Correspondence: Urgent Action - Son of Coca-Cola worker kidnapped and tortured
29 September 2007
At about 4pm on 27th September 2007, ANDRES DAMIAN FLOREZ RODRIGUEZ (son of JOSE DOMINGO FLOREZ, a worker at a Coca-Cola bottling plant and a leader of the trade union SINALTRAINAL) was returning from college to his home at No 204-102, 38th Avenue in the Andes barrio of Floridablanca in Santander when he was accosted by three individuals from a black van, they were carrying arms, communications radios and were wearing balaclavas. The three men took Andres in the van by force, threw him on the vehicle floor and started hitting him.
During this journey one of the assailants called on the radio and said “we’ve got the S O B, what should we do with him?”. The response from the other end was, “take him for a ride, give him a belting and leave him with the message”. The voice from the other end of the radio added, “tell him to tell his Dad that we won’t rest until we see him cut into pieces”. The assailants threw Andres out of the van at a place called Palenque on the road to Lebrija, opposite the mechanics workshops just after the interchange bridge.
This new incident against Coca-Cola workers in SINALTRAINAL and their close family members occurs after repeated death threats. Threats have been received on 10 February, 26 July, 9 August, 13 August, 20 and 25 September 2007.
This throws into relief the fact that on 24 September 2007, we communicated to Coca-Cola that SINALTRAINAL has re-launched its worldwide protest campaign.
We denounce transnational corporations for their policy of violating human rights, and we do not back away from this in spite of the threats and anti-trade union repression that has been perpetrated against SINALTRAINAL members.
· That Coca-Cola corporation and the Colombian State cease all repression against the workers,
· That the material and intellectual authors of this persecution be investigated,
· That the rights to life, association and trade union freedom be guaranteed.
LUIS JAVIER CORREA SUAREZ
SINALTRAINAL Presents Full Complaint to ILO
On 18th September SINALTRAINAL lodged a formal complaint agianst the Internacional Labour Organisation (ILO) citing both Coca-Cola and the Colombian state authorities for victimisation, delegitimising the exercise of trade union rights and, finally, the destruction of the trade union inside the corporation.
Death Threat from Paramilitary Black Eagles
At 12.30 on 25th September de 2007 a death threat was left at the office of SINALTRAINAL in Bucaramanga and was discovered just after local leaders DOMINGO FLORES, NELSON PEREZ and LUIS EDUARDO GARCIA had attended a forum to discuss candidates in the upcoming elections for city Mayor and the Governor of Santander …
SINALTRAINAL due to Testify against Paramilitaries
This new death threat occurred the day
after SINALTRAINAL attended a court hearing in Bogotá, in the ILO
offices, convened by the Circuit Judge of Valledupar, where union President
LUIS JAVIER CORREA SUAREZ and other SINALTRAINAL members and their families
are witnesses against the paramilitaries responsible for the assassination
of union militant Luciano Romero.
with copies to Sinaltrainal Internacional [email@example.com] and to firstname.lastname@example.org