Huber Ballesteros – Help needed to secure his release from detention

Circular No. NP/297/13

28th October 2013


Dear Colleagues,

Huber Ballesteros – Help needed to secure his release from detention

Huber Ballesteros is a high-profile Colombian trade union leader. He sits on the Executive Committee of Central Unitaria de Trabajdores de Colombia (CUT is Colombia's largest trade union federation) as well as being Vice President of FENSUAGRO Agricultural Workers' Union.

In an attempt to intimidate him into silence and inactivity, Huber was recently arrested and remains in detention. He must be promptly released, though even when that does occur, he – together with his family and his fellow trade unionists – will remain in danger.

Colombia is one of the deadliest countries in the world to be a trade unionist. According to UN figures almost 3,000 trade unionists have been killed since 1986. In the first six months of 2013 alone, at least 11 trade unionists have been murdered. (The involvement of the state, both directly and indirectly through paramilitary groups, in these assassinations is suspected by many).

Please help pressure the Colombian government into ordering the release of Huber and into preventing the epidemic of violence against trade unionists. Activists are encouraged to contact President Señor Juan Manuel Santos via this link, or by writing a letter to him at Palacio de Nariño, Carrera 8 No.7–26, Bogotá, Colombia or by faxing him on +57 1 596 0631.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Crow
General Secretary