Honduras: Four union leaders killed in shooting following false rumours of union involvement with factory closure
In June 2023 it was reported that four union leaders from the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Gildan San Miguel union were among 13 people killed in Choloma, Honduras, after a shooting during a birthday celebration.
All four leaders - Xiomara Cocas, Delmer Garcia, Lesther Almendarez and José Rufino Ortiz - represented workers at Gildan Activewear's San Miguel plant. Xiomara Cocas was the union president.
Police suspect that the incident was connected to a gang-related killing at a women's prison, where 46 inmates were killed.
However, as the shooting occurred just as Gildan announced its closure of the San Miguel factory, International Trade Union Confederation suggest the deaths could be linked to rumours that the union was responsible for the factory's closure.
Choloma is considered a 'flashpoint' for violence in response to government attempts to address organised crime, with Honduras holding an 'appalling' record of killings, intimidation and violence against workers and their unions, according to ITUC.
Global unions are calling on the government and Gildan to take stronger measures to ensure the safety and security of workers and union representatives.
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