Peru: guards union leader brutally beaten

Luis Cárdenas Velásquez, the secretary general of a union representing Peruvian employees of the Spanish security firm Prosegur Compañía de Seguridad, was assaulted near his home early on the morning of Aug. 22 as he was on his way to work. The assailant beat Cárdenas' head with a rock and then fled in a car which had been kept waiting a block away with the motor running. Nothing was stolen. Cárdenas reported the attack to the authorities and received four stitches at a hospital. A month earlier pamphlets were circulated among Prosegur staff accusing Cárdenas of stealing union funds. Management denied responsibility for the pamphlets and for similar anti-union pamphlets that have been reported at Prosegur sites in Colombia. The company has subsidiaries in a total of eight Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Cárdenas' union, the Prosegur Workers Union Peru, represents money transport workers who won recognition from management after a five-day strike in September 2013. The union is affiliated with the Swiss-based UNI Global Union, which claims to represent some 20 million service workers in 900 unions worldwide. UNI has protested to Prosegur in Spain, and the British-based LabourStart website is calling for labor rights supporters to send a letter to Presegur president Helena Revoredo Delvecchio and CEO Christian Gut Revoredo; the letter can be sent by email from LabourStart. (La República, Peru, Sept. 12, 2013; UNI Global Union Sept. 18, 2013, Aug. 28; Sindicato de Trabajadores y Empleados de Prosegur Paraguay S.A., Aug. 22; LabourStart, Sept. 10)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, September 14.