3 September, 2014After years of persecution, Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, President and General Secretary of IndustriALL affiliate the National Mine and Metal Workers Union, Los Mineros, has finally had all criminal charges against him dropped by a court in Mexico.
In a unanimous decision issued in open court on 28 August, the Fourth Collegiate Tribunal for Criminal Matters of the First Circuit in the Federal District ruled that the government’s criminal charge against Gómez, based on the dissolution of a union trust fund in 2005, was baseless and unconstitutional.
This is the eleventh time that the Mexican government charged Gómez with the same offense and the eleventh time that the appellate courts have ruled in his favour. The Mexican Attorney General’s office announced that it would respect the decision, which cannot be appealed.
IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary Jyrki Raina welcomes the decision:
“Despite pressure from anti-union companies the Mexican courts have finally dropped the last criminal charge against Napoleón Gómez. It is time to start preparations for Napoleón's return from his eight-year exile in Canada - there is so much trade union work to be done in Mexico!”
Since 2006 and Gómez’ strong condemnation of the industrial homicide at Pasta de Conchos, the mineworker leader has been persecuted by the corporate-government alliance and forced into exile in Vancouver, Canada.
In exile, Gómez has continued to lead Los Mineros and successfully bargain collective agreements improving the working conditions of the union members.
Gómez is a member of IndustriALL’s Executive Committee. However, since sham charges against him from the Mexican authorities have kept him on the Interpol red alert list he has been unable to take his seat as a titular member of the executive.
Jyrki Raina continues:
“This is a triumph for the relentless international trade union solidarity campaign and we look forward welcoming Gómez at our next Executive in December.”