Urgent Action - Attack in the Centre of Bogota Against the Headquarters of the Miners Union SPublished by MAC on 2004-05-03
Urgent Action - Attack in the Centre of Bogota Against the Headquarters of the Miners Union SINTRAMINERCOL
En Ingles y Español - Español aqui
The Colombia Solidarity Campaign expresses its maximum concern based on the following information that has just arrived from Colombia:
THE TRADE UNION, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL ORGANISATIONS SIGNED BELOW DENOUNCE BEFORE THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THIS NEW AGGRESION AGAINST SINTRAMINERCOL, WE NEED SOLIDARITY IN ORDER TO AVOID IRREPARABLE HARM.
Sunday 2nd May 2004, at 7.30 pm, two explosive devices were detonated in the building belonging to Minercol, at Calle 32 with Carrera 13 in the cente of Bogota, where the headquarters of Sintraminercol the union of workers for the state mining corporation Minercol is located.
The explosive devices were placed in Carrera 13 on the pavement by the Minercol building, on the third floor of which are located the offices of Sintraminercol, and the Workers Cooperative Coominercol the blast shattered Windows and destroyed equipment, files and part of the offices belonging to the Cooperative. It also destroyed offices belonging to the trades unions Asoproteccion Social and Sindiminintrabajo. Neighbouring offices were also affected by the blast.
In spite of the fact that the press has reported it as an attack against the Ministry of Social Protection all the signs indicate that it was directed against the Minercol building. On the first floor are located the Ministry of Social Protections workers Trade union offices, and some offices rented by Minercol to the Ministry of Social Protection, where they can meet with members of the public. It should be noted that a few metres from this buiding is located the CAI building belonging to the National police on Avda 32 between Carreras 7 & 13.
This attack against Sintraminercol has occurred at the same time as the workers are mounting a fight back against the liquidation of Minercol, and the surrendering of mining and petrol resources to the multinationals, and as denouncements by the union, have demonstrated the responsability of the national government and of the multinationals, in the violations of the human rights of workers, small farming communities, afrocolombian communities and the indigneous peoples that inhabit zones rich in natural resources.
Sintraminercol has also denounced the multinationals the Colombian state and the American government for creating paramilitary groups in order to guarantee mining interests, and shown that their lawyers created mining laws, environmental laws, petroleum and telecommunications laws and introduced articles in laws that they have directly benefited from; including the destruction of trade unions belonging to state enterprises, such as Sintraminercol with the liquidation of the state mining company Minercol Ltda. This was done based on article 317 of Law 685 (New Mining Code 2001) and was planned, advised on and regulated by the company lawyers for Holcim, cemex and la Ladrillera Santafe
Coincidentally this attack ocurred the day after a televisión special by ACOTV called World Day of Work, was transmited by the Inravision of Colombia, in which Francisco Ramírez President of Sintraminercol and General Secretary of Funtraenergetica, denounced these events, and the activities of the Colombian labour courts who acting with unusual speed, rushed to lift the legal charters held by Sintraminercol, Sintramin and Sintrcarbon an indispensable requisite in order to start sacking workers.
On Wednesday 28th April in a public audience convened by the Minister for Mines and Energy, Luis Ernesto Mejia Castro; Trade unionists from USO (oil workers union) and from Sintraminerco protested in order to get their view point heard about the conflicts in the mining and oil sectors, 2 days later Ramiro Luna President of USO Bogota who was the spokesman at the meeting, was sacked.
On Saturday 1st May 2004, 2 men and a women travelling in a white Renault, number plate CBL- 846 of Santafe de Bogota, were watching the union entrance from 9am to 3pm. 1 of the men a black man wearing a jacket and jeans was watching the union members that participated in the march and in particular Francisco Ramírez President of Sintraminercol. His bodyguards asked a member of the police antiriot squad (ESMAD) to identify the suspects; they established that they were members of ISSPOL, the national police intelligence unit and that they were on an assignment. At approximately 2 pm, 2 taxis arrived each carrying 3 men, and the 3 cars then joined together and waited until the vehicle carrying Francisco Ramírez entered the union headquarters at the 3pm, they then left for an unknown destination.
Throughout 2004 to date, different people have arrived at the union and tried to find Francisco Ramírez, claiming to be displaced people sent by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Students for the human rights committee of the Industrial union of Santander UIS, or simply friends of Francisco that have an appointment with him, information that upon verification proved to be false.
It is worth remembering that the door of this building (Minercol) is where in 1996 Marcia Elina Romero and Manuel Zamora Secretary of the trade union Sintramineralco and Treasurer of Fenasintrap at the time, were held by unidentified organisations and interrogated about the addresses of Francisco Ramírez Cuellar and Jorge Carlos Maria.
To the National Government
* Take the necessary measures to guarantee the life and physical integrity of Francisco Ramírez Cuellar
* Revoke the liquidation of Minercol
* Stop the persecution of the trade union Sintraminercol
* Order that any action against the life, liberty or integrity of Francisco Ramírez Cuellar be stopped.
* Make a public pronouncement about the need to respect the labour rights and guarantees of the workers and trade unionists in Colombia and the fulfilment of Colombian laws and international norms.
To the Public Prosecutor
* To conduct an exhaustive investigation to the identify, and exemplary charge, those materially and intellectually responsible for the threats, harassment and attacks against Sintraminercol
To the Attorney General
* To investigate the actions of the public employees belonging to the National Police force, the Army and members of the state security organisation whether by action or omission. In regards to the persecution, harassment and attacks against Sintraminercol and its President Francisco Eladio Ramírez Cuellar
Watch over the penal investigations established by Sintraminercol and to take forward with due speed and respect the procedural guarantees necessary to obtain justice.
Bogotá, 3rd May 2004
SINTRAMINERCOL SINTRAMIN SINTRACARBÓN CENTRAL UNITARIA DE TRABAJADORES
FUNTRAENERGÉTICA FENASINTRAP FENALTRASE
ASOCIACIÓN PARA EL DESARROLLO SOCIAL INTEGRAL "ECATE"
ASOCIACIÓN PARA LA INVESTIGACIÓN Y ACCION SOCIAL "NOMADESC"
LA CAMPAÑA NACIONAL E INTERNACIONAL DE DERECHOS HUMANOS CONTRA LA PRIVATIZACION, LA CORRUPCIÓN Y LA PENALIZACION DE LA PROTESTA SOCIAL "PROHIBIDO OLVIDAR"
ASOPROTECCION SOCIAL SINDIMININTRABAJO
OBSERVATORIO SOCIAL DE EMPRESAS TRANSNACIONALES MEGAPROYECTOS Y DERECHOS HUMANOS
Please send your letters to the national authorities and a copy to Sintraminercol
Presidencia de la República
Dr. Alvaro Uribe Velez
Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7-26 Santafe de Bogota, COLOMBIA
Fax: 00 57 1 286 74 34/286, 68 42/284 21 86
[Salutation: Excelentisimo Sr. Presidente/Dear President ]
E-mail: to send e-mail to Uribe login to http://www.presidencia.gov.co and click on ESCRIBALE AL PRESIDENTE at the bottom of the page or firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicepresidencia de la República
Dr Francisco Santos E-mail:email@example.com
Ministro de Minas y Energía
Dr. LUIS ERNESTO MEJIA CASTRO
Transversal 45 No. 26-86 Bogotá.
Teléfono (57-1) 324 5262
Ministro de Protección Social,
Dr. Diego Palacio Betancourt
Carrera 13 No. 32-76 Piso 22 Bogotá D.C.
Teléfono 57-1-3365066 Fax 57-1-3360182
Procuraduría General de la Nación
Dr. Edgardo José Maya Villazón
Carrera 5 No. 15-80 Santa Fe de Bogotá
Fax: (+57 1)342.97.23
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Programa Presidencial de Derechos Humanos y de Derecho Internacional Humanitario
Dr. Carlos Franco.
Calle 7 N° 5-54 Bogotá.
Tel: (+571) 336.03.11
Fax: (+57 1) 337.46.67
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Fiscalía General de la Nación
Dr. Luis Camilo Osorio.
Diagonal 22 B No.52-01 Santa fe de Bogotá.
Fax: (+571) 570 20 00
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Unidad de Derechos Humanos y de Derecho Internacional Humanitario
Defensoría del Pueblo
Dr. Volmar Antonio Pérez Ortiz.
Calle 55 No. 10-32 Bogotá. Fax: (+571) 640 04 91
Misión Permanente de Colombia ante las Naciones Unidas en Ginebra
Chemin du Champ d'Anier 17-19, 1209 Ginebra.
Fax: (+4122)791.07.87; (+4122)798.45.55
And the World bank / Banco Mundial and Multinational Corporations / Compañias Multinacionales:
President, World Bank
1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433 U.S.A.
Tel: +1 202 473-1000 Fax: +1 202 477-6391
Sir Mark Moody Stuart (Chair) and Tony Trahar (Chief Executive)
Anglo American plc
20 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AN, England
Tel +44 (0)20 7698 8547 Fax +44 (0)20 7698 8637
(contact details given are for Edward Bickham, Executive Vice President for External Affairs)
Don Argus (Chair) and Charles Goodyear (Chief Executive)
180 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
Tel +61 3 9609 3333 Fax +61 3 9609 3015
or via BHP Billiton plc, Neathouse Place, London SW1V 1BH, England
Tel +44 (0)20 7802 4000 Fax +44 (0)20 7802 4111
Email via Ian.B.Wood@bhpbilliton.com
The Chief Executive, GLENCOR, Baarermattstrasse 3 - CH-6341 Baar - Switzerland
Tel +41 41 709 20 00 Fax +41 41 709 30 00 Telex +41 865272
SINTRAMINERCOL, SINTRAMIN, SINTRACARBÓN
Calle 32 No. 13-07, 3er piso Bogotá/ A.A. 40369 Bogotá.
Teléfono (57-1) 2456581, Fax (57-1) 5612829.
With a copy to the Colombia Solidarity Campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org