ITUC Online
COLOMBIA: Trade union leader disappears
Brussels, 25 April 2008 (ITUC Online): The ITUC has expressed its outrage and firm condemnation following the disappearance of Guillermo Rivera Fuquene, President of the Public Servants Union of Bogota (SINSRVPUB), affiliated to the CTC Colombia, and a civil servant in the Colombian Comptroller’s office.  This is the latest in a long line of daily violations of fundamental workers’ rights in Colombia.  
Rivera Fuquene disappeared on 22 April at 6.30 in the morning in the “El Tunal” district as he was leaving his house to take his young daughter to school.  This  event, which has taken place against a background of harassment, threats and attacks against trade union leaders, firmly belies the claims by the government of President Uribe that the situation of workers and trade union activists in Colombia is improving.
In a letter to President Uribe the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC),  adds its voice to that of its Colombian affiliates in expressing its outrage and condemnation of the disappearance.  The ITUC demands that the authorities open investigations immediately and ensure the trade union leader, whose life is in serious danger, is found safe and sound.
 “This climate of constant violence must end” stated Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the ITUC.  “The workers of Colombia are crying out for the respect of their most basic rights, as enshrined in the fundamental ILO conventions ratified by Colombia.”
The ITUC represents 168 million workers in 155 countries and territories and has 311 national affiliates.
For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018 .