Death Threats Against Coca-Cola Worker and Others in Colombia

On 17 November 2004 at about midday, paramilitaries delivered the following message to the headquarters of the regional CUT in Bucaramanga, Santander:

"This threat is directed towards those trade unionists who oppose the governor, the mayor and those private companies who are supporting the policies of the government of Dr Alvaro Uribe Velez. We inform you that we have made a military judgement to force you from the areas under our influence, or to kill you. We will show no mercy to those trade unionists who have initiated legal proceedings against government of private company officials. For this reason we have declared the following as military objectives:

David Florez

Martha Diaz

Teresa Baez

Efraín Guerrero

Carlos Castro

Javier Jiménez

Rafael Ovalle

Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), Santander."

The above names are all members of the CUT, and Efrain Guerrero is a Coca-Cola worker and leader of SINALTRAINAL in Bucaramanga. On 20 April of this year, paramilitaries entered his house in the early morning and killed 3 members of his family; Gabriel, Fanny and Robinson Remolina.

This is the second time recently that Efrain has received death threats, a situation that has us exceptionally worried. We ask you to send immediate protests demanding the following:

"We, members of the international community, worried by the repeated death threats against Coca Cola workers and trade union leaders in Bucaramanga, urge you to take all possible action to protect the lives of David Florez, Martha Diaz, Teresa Baez, Efrain Guerrero, Carlos Castro, Javier Jimenez and Rafael Ovalle.

We further demand that the Colombian authorities thoroughly investigate the facts surrounding the murder of the Remolina Family on 20 April 2004, and bring those responsible to justice."




Colombia Solidarity Campaign adds:

To better send an e-mail to Uribe, login to http://www.presidencia.gov.co and click on ESCRIBALE AL PRESIDENTE at the bottom of the page.

For those in the UK, send copies to:

Colombian Embassy (UK): mail@colombianembassy.co.uk
and Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell rammellb@parliament.uk

And WRITE TO COCA COLA asking the company asking what measures it will take to protect the life of Efrain Guerrero.

Send to:

Tim Wilkinson, Public Affairs & Communications Director, Coca-Cola GB. E-mail twilkinson@eur.ko.com and to Vanessa Gibson (Europe, Eurasia and Middle East Communications) Tel (0044) 208 2373172 E-mail enquiries@eur.ko.co

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