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IndustriALL condemns assassination of union leader in Guatemala

30 June, 2016The Guatemalan trade union leader, Brenda Marleni Estrada Tambiento, died after being hit by five bullets. IndustriALL condemns the killing and calls on the government to intervene to stop the persecution of trade unions and social movements in the country.

Estrada was not the first victim of the persecution of the trade union movement in 2016: three other trade union leaders have been killed this year for the same reason. The ITUC lists Guatemala as one of the ten worst countries in the world for workers.

On 19 June, Estrada Tambiento was killed as she was returning from taking her father, the trade union leader Jorge Estrada, to a bus station in Guatemala City.

Brenda Marleni Estrada Tambiento was the deputy coordinator of the legal advice commission of the Unión Sindical de Trabajadores de Guatemala (UNSITRAGUA/HISTORICA). She was also a member of the Guatemala organizers’ group and the Trade Union Confederation of America’s continental legal team.

The 2016 edition of the ITUC’s Global Rights Index puts Guatemala among the ten worst countries in the world for workers, because of the weakening of workers’ rights and the continuous repression of the freedoms of speech and assembly.

The ILO has released details of extremely serious and systematic violations of the freedom of association in the country. Although the Guatemalan government has promised to protect workers’ rights, workers continue to be subjected to physical violence, intimidation, killings, kidnappings and death threats.

Jorge Almeida, IndustriALL regional secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, has written to the Guatemalan president, Jimmy Morales Cabrera, calling on the government to intervene and stop the persecution of the trade union and social movement in the country.

IndustriALL calls on the authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the attack, make the results public and bring those responsible to justice. We ask you to take action to prevent this happening again,”

said Jorge Almeida.