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Day of Action for Guatemala denounces murder of trade unionists and demands an end to impunity

17 May 2013
Unionists in Brazil demonstrate in support of their Guatemalan sisters and brothers
Convened by the Trade Union Confederation of Workers of the Americas (CSA/TUCA), the Day of Action for Guatemala against the murder of trade unionists and impunity met on Friday 17 May, dozens of militants across the country's consulate in Sao Paulo to end of barbarism against the workers.

About 15 union leaders are murdered annually in the country, whose population is about 15 million, establishing a culture of terror that made the unionization rate plummet to 1.6%, amid the persecutions and threats, particularly in coffee plantations and banana which replicate a feudal scheme in favor of transnationals.

On occasion, the general secretary of the Trade Union Confederation of Workers of the Americas (CSA/TUCA), Víctor Báez Mosqueira, the International Relations Secretary of CUT, João Antonio Felicio, and the representative of the General Union of Workers (UGT), Josemar Andrade of Assis , delivered to the honorary Consul of Guatemala, Arthur Wolkovier, a manifest demanding immediate action in order to do justice, ending the killings.

Representing the Public Services International (PSI), Monica Valente warned of the "climate of fear" prevailing in the country, "where in addition to the large number of murders of trade union leaders and workers fighting for their rights are death threats and kidnapping their families. ""The unionist in Guatemala puts his life at risk. Several leaders fighting against privatization and the delivery of public services continue to be killed. This must end!

In order to turn this sad page, Monica said, the government of Guatemala, "this country that is currently number one in murders of trade unionists in the world" will be reported at the Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on 5 June in Geneva.

To Josemar Andrade of Assis, from  UGT, "and urgent measures are necessary because union leaders in Guatemala are suffering the bullet, paying with their lifes the decision to fight for the rights of the working class."

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