Grupo Mexico linked to murder of miner

14.08.2007

20 SNTMMSRM members wounded, 15 detained, 1 dead

MEXICO: The international labour community is taking action against the murder of Reinaldo Hernandez González, a miner and member of the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros, Metalúrgicos y Similares de la República Mexicana (SNTMMSRM) who was fatally shot by hired thugs working for Grupo Mexico.

According to reports, on August 11, 2007, at 8:30 pm, about 90 workers who were unjustly dismissed by Grupo Mexico were holding a meeting near the La Caridad copper mine in Nacozari, Sonora, when several buses branding Grupo Mexico's logo ambushed the workers.

The SNTMMSRM reported that individuals from the company buses began throwing stones at the group of workers and a moment later gunshots were fired. Workers then tried to flee the area in vehicles only to be intercepted again by the company hired men. According to reports, it was during this second confrontation that gunshots were again fired, which is when the workers noticed that González had been fatally shot by a bullet to the forehead.

In local news papers the union noted that police were absent during the 2 hour long confrontation in which 20 workers were wounded and González was killed. The SNTMMSRM also reports that at least 15 SNTMMSRM members are currently being held by authorities and that there are reports of torture being used against some of the detainees.

Workers were meeting to discuss a recent court injunction ordering Grupo Mexico to reinstate them. The 90 or so workers were fired in June 2006 after holding a 46-day long strike demanding recognition of SNTMMSRM leader Napoleón Gómez Urrutia. Grupo Mexico fired all the workers, nullifying their collective agreement. Soon after, most workers, apart from the 90 strike leaders, were rehired on monthly contracts, with no union representation, previous benefits or worker protections.

The IMF sent a letter immediately to Mexican President Felipe Calderón and to the International Labour Organisation condemning the murder. "The international labour community has witnessed with shock and outrage an escalation in government and Grupo Mexico-sponsored violence and persecution of SNTMMSRM members," IMF general secretary Marcello Malentacchi said in the letter to the President Calderón. "The Mexican government cannot continue to ignore such gross human rights violations nor should it continue to protect and abet Grupo Mexico's criminal role in the assassination of González," Malentacchi added.

The IMF is calling on affiliates and unions around the world to send letters of protest to President Calderón and letters of support and solidarity to the SNTMMSRM.

Send letters to:

Felipe Calderón
President of Mexico
Presidencia de La Republica
Residencia Oficial de Los Pinos
Puerta Central
Mexico, DF 11850
Fax: +52 55 55 22 34 26
E-mail : felipe.calderon@presidencia.gob.mx

Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros, Metalúrgicos y Similares de la República Mexicana (SNTMMSRM)
Calle Dr. José Maria Vertiz 668 Col Narvarte
03020 MEXICO D.F.
Fax: +52 55 5530 0036