On May 15, 2006 at approximately 8:00 A.M., in the Colombian city of Barranquilla, at the headquarters of SINALTRAINAL, Secretary Yovana Rodríguez found an envelope upon entering the building that contained a threat.
This is tjhe Threat: “M.A.S. [a former death squad] These are the names of the pamphleteers and doctrinaires that are fucking over our city – Euripides Yance, Limberto Carranza, Campo Quintero Jesús Tovar, Eduardo Arévalo, Tomas Ramos, Henry Gordón, Gastón Tesillo, Carlos Hernandez. The time has come to eradicate their tentacles that are growing daily in the unions, universities, and other organizations that allow themselves to be badly influenced.”
On May 16, last Tuesday, Euripides Yance and Limberto Carranza received telephoned death threats in their homes.
Many of you will have met Euripides Yance when he visited the UK on behalf of SINALTRAINAL in November 2005. He is a warm and loving man who is deeply dedicated to both his union and the people of Colombia. He has two young children.
These latest threats are part of a renewed campaign against SINALTRAINAL leaders:
On 1 May in Bucaramanga, two police patrol cars intercepted Javier Correa (SINALTRAINAL Nacional President) and Efrain Guerrero (President of SINALTRAINAL Branch in Bucaramanga) who were then questionned by an officer of the SIJIN security police and unidentified woman.
On 10 May the Bucaramanga hotel room of another SINALTRAINAL leader, William Mendoza was robbed. Then at 6 am 11 May William’s brother was assailed in the street in Barrancabermeja. On 16 May an unidentified man called the Barrancabermeja union office saying “Remember what happened at 6 in the morning, you great son of a bitch,” and hung up.
These threats are occurring at the same time as the union is negotiating a list of demands with Coca-Cola in Bogotá. SINALTRAINAL are really worried that these threats will be carried out. They are trying to arrange a meeting with the Colombian government in order to ensure that the government takes action to protect their lives.