Assassination of SINTRAEMCALI leader in Cali, Colombia and a body guard



PSI appeals to all its affiliate organisations to write letters of

protest to the President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe Velez following two

assassinations this weekend in Cali.


Ricardo Barragán Ortega, a well-known trade unionist, member of the PSI

affiliate, SINTRAEMCALI and active in the campaign to oppose the

privatisation of the Cali Municipal Water and Electricity Plant (EMCALI)

was assassinated on January 17th.


Ricardo Barragán was Installations Inspector at the Water Plant and had

worked at the plant since 1989. He had been instrumental in drawing up

the EMCALI financial rescue plan and was known for his active

participation in protest rallies.


On January 17th at 16:45, Ricardo was off-duty on his way to act as

umpire at a local football match. He was driving in his own car to the

Navarro warehouses (Centro Operative Bodegas Navarro), when two persons

riding high-cylinder motorbikes intercepted him at the junction of the

South East Highway and Avenue 36. Ricardo was shot in the head 5 times

and died shortly afterwards.


It should be pointed out that this assassination took place at a busy

intersection in daylight hours so it could be presumed that there are

many potential witnesses.


During the funeral of Ricardo, on January 19th, PSI was informed that a

bodyguard, Leyton Banquero, was shot and killed. Leyton was providing

security for the SINTRAMECALI Executive Board member, Domingo Angulo

Quiñonez, as part of the Ministry of Interior protection programme for

unionists whose lives have been threatened.


Please write a letter to the government with a copy to the PSI, to the

Colombian mission in your country and your Minister of Labour.


See model letters in English and Spanish below:



A model letter in Spanish (translation in English below)


Ref: Urgent Action 01/04

(If you have problems with this email address, please either ask the

Colombian Embassy in your country to send the letter or open the

following website: and click at the bottom

of the homepage on “Escribale al presidente”.)


Estimado Presidente Alvaro Uribe Vélez,


Nombre de su organización ha sido informada del asesinato de Ricardo

Barragán Ortega, empleado desde hace muchos años de la empresa municipal

EMCALI EICE y miembro del sindicato SINTRAEMCALI, afiliada de la ISP.

Este asesinato, perpetrado el 17 de enero pasado en Cali, ocurrió en

horas del día y en una intersección vial muy transitada, por lo que

suponemos habrá sido presenciado por muchos testigos.


Asimismo, nuestra organización fue informada del asesinato, unos días

después, de Leyton Banquero, un guardaespaldas contratado por el

Ministerio del Interior para la protección del miembro del Consejo

Ejecutivo de SINTRAEMCALI, Domingo Angulo Quiñónez.


Nuestra federación sindical internacional, que representa a 20 millones

de empleados públicos a nivel mundial, se une a muchos otros sindicatos

del sector público en el mundo entero para instar a su gobierno a que

ordene una investigación completa sobre estos crímenes, a fin de poder

arrestar, enjuiciar y castigar a sus autores materiales e intelectuales.





CC Vice-Presidente Francisco Santos CC Fiscal

General de la Nación CC Procurador General de

la Nación CC PSI CC

SINTRAEMCALI Fax: +5728881159 CC Misión de Colombia en su país CC

Ministro del Trabajo en su país



Model letter (English translation)


Dear President Alvaro Uribe Velez,


Name of organisation has been informed of the assassination of Ricardo

Barragán Ortega, long-standing employee of the EMCALI EICE municipal

company and member of the PSI affiliate, SINTRAEMCALI. This

assassination took place on January 17th in Cali, at 16:45 pm in

daylight hours and at the junction of a busy highway intersection, where

it can be presumed that there were many potential witnesses.


Our organisation has also been informed of the subsequent assassination

of Leyton Banquero, a bodyguard working under the Ministry of Interior

protection programme on behalf of the SINTRAEMCALI Executive Board

member, Domingo Angulo Quiñonez.


Our trade union joins with many other public sector unions throughout

the world in calling upon your government to carry out a thorough

investigation of these crimes and to arrest, charge, and punish the

intellectual and moral authors.


Yours Sincerely,


CC Vice-Presidente Francisco Santos CC Fiscal

General de la Nación CC Procurador General de

la Nación CC PSI CC

SINTRAEMCALI Fax: +5728881159 CC Colombia mission in your country CC

Minister of Labour in your country