Guatemala: Renewed Anti-Union Violence in Health Sector

The secretary of the Santa Rosa branch of the Community Area of the National Health Workers’ Union of Guatemala (SNTSG), Melvy Lizeth Camey Rojas, and her lawyer, Ricardo Morataya, were the victims of a gunfire attack by heavily armed men. The lawyer was killed and the trade unionist has been left critically injured. The ITUC and its affiliated organisations have firmly denounced the attack.

According to the information received by the ITUC, the incident took place at the Chiquimulilla municipal health centre in the department of Santa Rosa. The lawyer was providing Melvy Rojas with legal assistance to resolve the labour issues faced by the workers from this area. Another lawyer defending trade union representatives was already murdered in November 2011.

"Enough is enough!" exclaimed ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. It is imperative that an end be brought to this persecution of trade unionists, which ranges from legal action, libel and death threats to murder, all in the context of utter and total impunity."

In a letter to the Guatemalan authorities, the ITUC urged President Pérez Molina to instruct the Public Prosecutor’s Office to start a full and thorough investigation into the murders of the two lawyers and the attack on the trade union leader, to track down those responsible for these crimes at every level and to apply the full force of the law.

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 62 10 18

Photo: eriktorner