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End impunity now!
02
Feb '08
Yesterday saw the conclusion of the international conference on the role of trade unions in the fight against impunity, held in Guatemala City by the ITUC, its regional organisations ORIT and CLAT, the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and the ITUC's Guatemalan affiliates, the CGTG and CUSG.

The event was inaugurated by the President of Guatemala, Alvaro Colom. At the close of the event, the Conference Declaration was handed over to the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Edgar A. Rodriguez, for submission to the Guatemalan authorities.

The aim of the Conference was to devise and apply political and trade union strategies to promote respect for core labour standards, to build trade union capacity to fight impunity, and to secure full investigations into the murders of trade unionists, so that those responsible are brought to justice and sentenced as soon as possible.

Guatemala is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for trade unionists; a fact confirmed just one day prior to the Conference when two armed men attacked the head office of the CGTC. The two individuals forced staff at gunpoint to open one of the offices, from which they took two computers containing valuable information.

In its conclusions, the Conference emphasised the need to fully investigate the cases of Pedro Zamora, Marco Tulio Ramirez, Raúl Castro Bosel and Rosalío González Villatoro, all of whom have been killed over the last 12 months due to their activities as trade union leaders.

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