More Teachers Murdered in Colombia

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has once again condemned and expressed its deep sorrow at the murders of two more Colombian teachers, Carlos Julio Gómez Freddy, on 26 May, and Antonio Cuadrado Núñez, on 29 May. Their killings add to the long list of trade unionists and teachers murdered this year.

Carlos Julio Gómez, who taught at the General Santander school in Cali and was a member of the education workers’ union SUTEV (Sindicato Único de Trabajadores de la Educación del Valle), was attacked by unknown assailants with firearms on the morning of 26 May. Brother Gómez was seriously injured and taken to the Clínica Rey David hospital in Cali where he died on 29 May.

Brother Freddy Antonio Cuadrado Núñez, who taught at the Isaac J. Pereira school, was killed on Friday 27 May in Ciénaga, Magdalena. He was shot in the head by a hired gunman whilst celebrating his 46th birthday.

In a letter to President Santos, the ITUC urged the Colombian authorities to ensure that all those responsible for these crimes be immediately found and punished with the full force of the law. The Colombian authorities must take every action necessary to end this constant violence against the trade union movement, as well as the impunity surrounding these crimes," said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

The Colombian trade union confederation CUT has called for Colombia to be included in the list of 25 countries that most violate human and trade union rights, which will be discussed within the Committee on the Application of Standards at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, given the persistent trade union rights violations in Colombia and the anti-union murders that are constant in the lives of Colombia’s workers.

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018

Photo:Jenny Giraldo