Colombia: Protect Human Rights Defenders

On July 1, 2017, Alberto Román Acosta González, president of the Guacarí branch of Colombia’s National Union of Agricultural Workers (SINTRAINAGRO), was gunned down by two hired men while watching his son play soccer. For over ten years, Alberto fought for the rights of sugarcane cutters who toil in the fields for up to 14 hours a day and make as little as $200 dollars a month.

Call for justice for Alberto by using the tool below to urge the Colombian government to fully investigate the murder and protect Colombian trade union leaders!

This latest attack is a stark reminder for SINTRAINAGRO – a union that represents 35,000 workers engaged in the production of bananas, sugar cane, palm oil, rice and flowers. Amidst the five decades of armed conflict in Colombia, SINTRAINAGRO has seen some 1,300 of its members murdered in this context, mainly by right-wing paramilitary groups protecting powerful political and business interests.

Despite the historic peace deal signed last November that formally ended the 50 year-long civil war between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, violence against human rights defenders has escalated. According to the United Nations, at least 41 Colombian social movement leaders were killed during the first four months of 2017.

SINTRAINAGRO has asked for international support for their demand that the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, and his government undertake a full and transparent investigation into the assassination of Alberto Román Acosta González and implement appropriate measures to protect union leaders and members. International pressure is critical to ensuring the safety of trade unionists and workers’ rights activists.

Use the tool below to send an email directly to President Santos and his administration calling on them to take action!