First trade unionist of year murdered in first week in Colombia
It didn´t take long this year for Colombia to live up to its reputation as the most dangerous place on the planet to be a trade unionist.
Brewery worker and union leader Ever Marin was shot six times while he waited to catch a bus Saturday (Jan. 4) in the north coast city of Soledad.
Marin, 46, was a brewery worker at Cervecería Águila in the department of Atántico.
“Unfortunately we still know very little about what happened. We are asking the authorities to investigate. We cannot say that his death was related to his union activity,” Fabio Arias, secretary-general of the Central Unitaria de Trabajadoras said in an interview with El Espectador after Marin´s murder.
Colombia´s labour ministry in a public statement asked that judicial authorities investigate the murder.
Last year 28 labour leaders were assassinated in Colombia. That was an increase from 2012 when 23 were murdered.
Some 3,000 trade unionists have been murderd in Colombia in the last 25 years, according to a report by Colombia Caravana, a British-based human rights organization comprised of lawyers and judges.
“Colombia has become the country where defending workers´fundamental rights means, with greater probability than in any other country, a death sentence” Caravana said in its report.
Chances are likely whoever killed Ever Marin will get away without charges. That´s the way things usually go in Colombia when trade unionists are murdered.
That report found that few cases are well investigated and charges, let alone convictions are exceedingly rare. Caravana Colombia found that killers are convicted in only about three per cent of assassinations against trade union leaders, human rights workers and lawyers representing those type of organizations.
As part of the submissions in this hearing the petitioners argued that the State had failed to increase its investigations into acts of violence against trade union members, and that the acts of violence are followed with impunity.”.