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Guatemala: Another Union Leader Murdered

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

Guatemala: another union leader murdered

Brussels, 2 October 2008 (ITUC Online): The ITUC condemns the 21 September murder of José Israel Romero Ixtacuy, General Secretary of the Union of the Municipal Electricity Company, affiliated with UNSITRAGUA. That day, while he was having lunch in Cantón San Luis, Zona 5 in Retalhuleu, two killers riding a Passola motorcycle got off, entered the restaurant and shot him.

In a letter sent to the Guatemalan authorities, the ITUC asked President Álvaro Colom - who, during the ITUC Conference on The Role of Trade Union Organisations and Impunity (held in January 2008 in Guatemala City), expressed his decision to fight to eradicate violence against trade unionists - to order an exhaustive investigation to find those responsible for the murder of José Israel Romero Ixtacuy and to prosecute them with the full force of the law.

"The murder of José Israel Romero is yet further evidence of the cruel lack of respect for basic rights in Guatemala and the ease with which the most abject crimes can be committed while the perpetrators are not punished in any way," said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder, who implored President Colom's government to take all steps necessary to have the ILO's fundamental Conventions enforced in full. These Conventions have been ratified by Guatemala.

ENDS

ITUC represents 168 million workers in 155 countries and has 311 national affiliates.

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