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Colombia: Horrific Torture and Murder of Unionist

Colombia: ICFTU Protests Horrific Torture and Murder of Union Leader

Brussels, 19 September 2005 (ICFTU OnLine): In a letter (to Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez, the ICFTU has condemned the vicious torture and murder of Luciano Enrique Romero Molina, a leader of the foodworkers' union SINALTRAINAL. Molina was found dead on 11 September, bound hand and foot, having been curelly tortured. His body, which showed signs of at least 47 blows, was found in Las Palmas in the La Nevada district, an area controlled by paramilitaries.

An employee of CICOLAC (NESTLÉ), Molina was dismissed on 22 October 2002 following a labour dispute. Following a series of death threats, the Colombian government was requested to include him in a Protection Programme for union leaders and human rights activists, but the only response from the government was to provide him with two mobile telephones.

The ICFTu is calling on the Colombian President to carry out a full investigation into his murder, and to ensure that those responsible are subjected to the full force of the law. In conclusion, the ICFTU criticises the President's policy of "democratic security", which in effect legalises paramilitary activity, and has "so far served only to increase the number of murdered trade unionists and labour activists".

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