Colombia: attorney and labor leader threatened

The US-based Colombia Support Network (CSN) reported on Dec. 10 that for the last several weeks Colombian human rights attorney Jorge Eliécer Molano-Rodríguez had “received worrisome visits to his apartment building by individuals who refused to give their names to the building watchman, and his companion has been stalked by strange men…. Molano’s legal work has involved him in some of Colombia’s most controversial cases, representing, among others, families of victims of the Palace of Justice murders; of the Feb. 21, 2005 massacre of members of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó; and of the Army’s ‘false positives‘ kidnapping and murder of civilian youths in San José de Guaviare, and in Bolivar and Cesar departments.”

CSN is asking for people in the US to write to members of Congress, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ( and, US ambassador Mr. William Brownfield ( and other officials to express concern and to urge them to communicate to Colombian officials the need to protect Molano. (CSN urgent action, Dec. 10)

According to the National Directorate of Colombia’s National Union of Food Industry Workers (SINALTRAINAL), on Nov. 24 union president Luis Javier Correa Suárez received a threatening call on a mobile phone assigned to him by the Interior Ministry’s protection program. A man who identified himself as Arnold Jiménez told Correa: “You have until the 22nd to renounce, and there won’t be another phone call.” When Correa asked why, the man replied: “You know why, don’t play games, you know what I mean” and hung up. This came during a contract dispute with the Industria Nacional de Gaseosas SA, a bottling company owned by Coca-Cola‘s Colombia branch.

The union has called for international solidarity. The British-based Colombia Solidarity Campaign recommends sending protests to Colombia’s London embassy ( and and messages of support to the union (, with copies to the Colombia Solidarity Campaign ( ). (LabourNet, Dec. 11)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Dec. 15

See our last posts on Colombia and the paramilitary terror.