Another Education Unionist Assassinated in Colombia

The ITUC, together with its affiliated organisations in Colombia, has strongly condemned the murder, on 30 January, of Humberto de Jesús Espinoza Díaz, a member of the education trade union of Risaralda, SER. The trade unionist worked as a head teacher at an agricultural school in Mistrato, Instituto Agrícola Mistrato, in the department of Risaralda. According to the latest figures received by the ITUC, 25 out of the 46 trade unionists assassinated in 2010 were teachers (see previous press release).

The national union confederation CUT reports that Humberto Espinoza had been the subject of risk assessments concluding that he was not at risk, in spite of the repeated threats he had received. The government is therefore being urged to review the procedure whereby the police authorities assess the risk levels facing teachers under threat.

In a letter to the Colombian authorities, the ITUC called on President Juan Manuel Santos to take every action necessary to ensure that a full investigation is immediately launched into this killing, and that those responsible are identified and brought to justice. "Enough impunity!" insisted ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. "Trade unionists must be able to work without putting their lives at risk, in line with fundamental workers’ rights and the ILO Conventions ratified by Colombia."