Make Fruit Fair calls on Colombian government to protect trade unionists
Partners in the Make Fruit Fair! campaign have today written to the Government of Colombia calling on them to provide protection for the leaders of the country’s banana workers’ union, SINTRAINAGRO. The letter follows a recent grenade attack at SINTRAINAGRO offices in the department of Magdalena, Ciénaga municipality, on 8 March.
SINTRAINAGRO represents 35,000 workers engaged in the production and / or export of bananas, sugar cane, oil palm, rice and flowers. Throughout its history, the Union has supported all the peace negotiations carried out in the country, which has allowed it to be a direct target of armed groups opposed to these processes. Some 1,300 leaders and members of the union have been murdered in this context, mainly by paramilitary groups and henchmen of entrepreneurs. For that reason, SINTRAINAGRO was forced to ask for protection and security to some of the leaders of its National Board of Directors and of the different subdirectives in each one of the departments.
That protection was withdrawn following the signing of the recent peace agreement in Colombia. But as this recent attak has demonstrated, trade unionist continue to be targetted by armed groups opposed to the peace process. We have, therefore, written to the Colombian government in support of a demand by SINTRAINAGRO, that protection be reinstated by the government.
A copy of the letter in Spanish and English can be downloaded below.