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  HOME | Colombia (Click here for more)

Labor Leader Gunned Down in Colombia

BOGOTA – An official of a union representing university employees in the northwestern Colombian province of Cordoba was murdered, the CUT labor federation said Tuesday.

Luis Diaz Villa was fatally shot Monday night on a street in Monteria, the provincial capital.

The victim was vice president of the Cordoba local of the Sintraunicol union, CUT regional leader Eleazar Perez told Efe from Monteria.

Diaz Villa was linked to the University of Cordoba, an institution that suffered in the past from the activities of right-wing militias, blamed by Perez for the deaths of “more than 100 union and student leaders and of a candidate for the post of dean.”

Diaz Villa and other Sintraunicol officers in Cordoba had an arrangement to receive police protection in response to threats, but the protection was apparently withdrawn, Perez said.

Demanding a prompt investigation of the murder, the CUT called on the Colombian government to adopt measures ensuring “the free exercise of labor and union activity.”

The murder came a few hours after Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera chaired a security conference in Monteria attended by senior security force commanders and municipal and provincial officeholders, Perez pointed out.

Colombia is the world’s most dangerous country for labor organizers. EFE
 

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