Letter to the President of the Republic of Colombia regarding the imprisonment of the trade union leader, Hubert de Jesús Ballesteros Gomez

Keywords : Human and trade union rights Protest letters

Dear Mr. President,

The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation
(ITUC-Africa) would like to express its concern regarding the imprisonment of the trade
union leader, Hubert de Jesús Ballesteros Gomez, on the 25 August 2013.

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PDF: Letter regarding the imprisonment of Hubert de Jesús Ballesteros Gomez

This trade union leader who is a member of the Executive Council of the Central
Unitaria de Trabajadores de Colombia (CUT), affiliated to the ITUC and the TUCA, was
playing an important role in the national strikes which are currently taking place in
Colombia.

Hubert Ballesteros has been one of the ten spokespersons for the Mesa de
Interlocución y Acuerdo (MIA) since the 19 August 2013, the body responsible for
negotiating with the government. This arrest took place in a climate of mobilisations
and national strikes by workers’ and social organisations from various sectors at
national level, a movement that is supported by the national trade union centres, CUT,
CTC and CGT and the Confederación de Pensionados. The government has refused to
engage in dialogue and continues its campaign of repression.

We are deeply concerned that despite that guarantees given by Colombia to respect
trade union rights, a prominent trade union leader such as Huber Ballesteros could be
arrested in what appears to be an attempt to intimidate the organisations involved in
the national strikes.

We therefore urge you to do everything possible to ensure the release of Hubert
Ballesteros and to give guarantees to ensure the democratic right to freedom of
expression for all trade unionists and social activists that are currently involved in the
organisation of these collective actions.

We will be monitoring this situation very closely and we await the response from the
Colombian authorities regarding the serious issues raised in this letter.

Yours Sincerely,

Kwasi Adu-Amankwah

General Secretary

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