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Exploited Labor: News & Updates
RRN Case Update
March 7, 2019
Colombia - case summaries 2018
More than one-third of the urgent action letters that IRTF's Rapid Response team wrote in 2018 were sent to officials in Colombia because of the disturbing increase in human rights abuses there (namely assassinations) targeting social leaders. Here is a summary of the 27 human rights cases. For more information on any of these cases, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
February 26, 2019
Please find attached the letter (Feb 26 2019) we sent to officials in Colombia regarding the assassination of José Fernel Manrique Valencia, age 34, an executive board member of the Union of Construction Material Industry Workers (SUTIMAC) in Bucaramanga in Santander Department. At 9:30pm two assassins on a motorbike shot him twice, killing him outside his home in the Café Madrid neighborhood. José Manrique Valencia worked for Cemex Colombia, a national construction company, for more than a decade. Since SUTIMAC was formed in 1972, at least 40 of its members have been murdered, but only one person has been convicted.
February 25, 2019
We wrote to officials in Colombia regarding an attack on Dibeth Quintana, a leader of the Oil Workers’ Union (USO) in Aguachica, Cesar Department. After leaving a judicial proceeding in the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Aguachica on February 13, strangers abducted her, beat her, tied her hands and feet, and abandoned her on the outskirts of the municipality. She was treated in a local medical center for physical and emotional trauma.
February 23, 2019
We wrote to officials in Mexico about the disappearance, torture, and assassination of Noé Jiménez Pablo and José Santiago Gómez Álvarez, members of the Independent Regional Campesino Movement (MOCRI) in Amatán, Chiapas State. They disappeared on January 17 when a group of unidentified armed men attacked MOCRI demonstrators who, since November 2018, had been protesting the failure of authorities to guarantee the basic needs of their community. On January 18, the bodies of the two victims, showing signs of torture, were found in a garbage dump near Amatán.
February 19, 2019
"As influential public institutions, our universities have a responsibility to maintain a clear and unwavering moral standard in their business relationships. Wendy’s, as the sole fast-food company that has yet to join the Fair Food Program, has refused to meet that standard. Instead of cheap '4 for $4' meals, as students, we need to see human rights on the menu."
February 1, 2019
We urge an investigation into the killing of the third FENSUAGRO member in Cauca in just two months: Dilio Corpus Guetio, age 44, died after being shot repeatedly while riding his bike to work on the morning of January 29.
January 28, 2019
Globalization as a qualitatively new phase in the ongoing and open-ended evolution of world capitalism has been characterized above all by the rise of a globally integrated production, financial, and service system. In Central America, the transnational model of accumulation that took hold during the boom has involved a vast expansion of maquiladoras (assembly factories in Export Processing Zones, employing some 800,000), agro-industrial complexes, mining and raw material extraction, global banking, tourism, and the “retail revolution,” like the spread of Walmart...At the same time, the spread of transnational tourist complexes has turned Central America into a global playground. Local indigenous, Afro-descendant, and mestizo communities have fought displacement, environmental degradation, and the commodification of local cultures by tourist mega-projects such as the Ruta Maya throughout the regiona-projects Roatan in Honduras, San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, Costa del Sol in El Salvador, or Guanacaste province in Costa Rica
October 30, 2018
Colombian authorities confirmed Tuesday that they have reopened an investigation into whether an Alabama-based coal company financed a paramilitary group during the South American nation’s bloody civil conflict.
August 24, 2018
Beating, arrest, and arbitrary detention on August 14 of Edwin Choc and Martín Chub, local leaders of the Farmer’s Committee of the Highlands (CCDA). Police detained them in Cobán, Alta Verapaz Department, after they attended a meeting with government authorities that was part of the Permanent Dialogue between authorities, campesino and indigenous communities.
August 2, 2018
Assassination of Juana Raymundo, age 25, a nurse and member of the Campesino Development Committee (CODECA). She disappeared the night of July 27 from Nebaj in Quiché Department. On July 28 neighbors found her dead body, showing signs of torture, near a small river between the Nebaj and Acambalam communities.