Colombia: Human Rights Watch study finds "virtually no progress" in obtaining convictions for killings of trade unionists

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Author: Human Rights Watch

Carta a la Fiscal General Morales...Tengo el agrado de dirigirme a Ud. con el fin de retomar el diálogo sumamente constructivo que mantuvimos...en la cual abordamos el problema de la impunidad de la violencia contra sindicalistas en Colombia...Consideramos positivas las medidas que actualmente está adoptando la Fiscalía General de la Nación...Sin embargo, también creemos que se requieren medidas adicionales para asegurar que sus esfuerzos tengan éxito y se logre superar el período de violencia impune contra sindicalistas en Colombia...Colombia continúa enfrentando niveles alarmantes de violencia antisindical...Colombia no ha logrado que se haga justicia en más de 2.500 casos de asesinatos de sindicalistas cometidos durante los últimos 25 años.

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3 October 2011

Colombia: Ensure Justice for Anti-Union Violence

Author: José Miguel Vivanco, Human Rights Watch

Dear Attorney General Morales: I am writing to follow up…regarding the problem of impunity for anti-union violence in Colombia. We are encouraged by the steps the Attorney General’s Office is currently taking…Yet we also believe further measures are needed …Colombia continues to face an extraordinarily high level of anti-union violence…[and] has failed to deliver justice for more than 2,500 trade unionist killings…In 2006, the Attorney General’s Office…[established] a sub-unit of prosecutors to focus exclusively on crimes against trade unionists….Since its creation, the sub-unit has made important progress…Yet this…has in fact been very limited. And, unless urgent steps are taken to improve the sub-unit’s performance, it will almost certainly prove to be unsustainable…

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2 October 2011

Study: Colombia Anti-Union Violence Undeterred

Author: Frank Bajak, Huffington Post [USA]

A new study challenges claims from the administration of President Barack Obama that Colombia is making important strides in bringing to justice killers of labor activists and so deserves U.S. congressional approval of a long-stalled free trade pact. The Human Rights Watch study found "virtually no progress" in getting convictions for killings [of trade unionists] that have occurred in the past 4 1/2 years. It counted just six convictions obtained by a special prosecutions unit from 195 slayings between January 2007 and May 2011…"A major reason for this ongoing violence has been the chronic lack of accountability for cases of anti-union violence," Human Rights Watch said in a letter sent Thursday to Colombian Chief Prosecutor Viviane Morales that details the study's findings.

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