The Oil Industry Workers Union (USO) condemns the detention of its companions today.
CAMPO ELIAS ORTIZ, HECTOR SANCHEZ and JOSE DILIO NARANJO, workers and union leaders of the Department of Meta, were deprived of their freedom because of the worker protests in 2011 and 2012 en the municipal of Puerto Gaitán and who worked in businesses against multinational PACIFIC RUBIALES.
The arrest was ordered by prosecution 239 Sectional of the Individual Freedom Unit, under the serious accusations of aggravated sequestration, obstruction of pathways, threats and violation of the right to work, surely applying the dark "Citizen Security Statute" that opens the way to a new stage of prosecution the right of association and social protest.
These detainments are in addition to the arrest of DARIO CARDENAS, Vice-President of the USO Meta Section weeks ago; and the hundreds of arrests of the rural workers in the entire country that mobilized crying for their rights. The judicializing has been extended to the human rights defenders such as DAVID RAVELO and directors such as HUBER BALLESTEROS, executive member of the CUT and of Fensuagro.
The risk of new arrests has been announced to the directors of USO, another piece of evidence that the State, and especially the Fiscal General of the Nation are at the service of the Transnational Businesses in the development of the so-called “investor trust” that means the trampling of the worker rights, the right of the association and the union freedoms to guarantee the looting of natural resources and abhorrent violations of the environment.
The great paradox, of which the country and the international community should know, is that while the judicial system should be investigating PACIFIC RUBIALES and the company contractors that surround it for the serious violations against the worker rights, they do the opposite with an embarrassing attitude of subjugation to transnational capital, in contrast with the national interest.
While the authoritarian government of Santos and the Attorney Montealegre boast of favoring peace with the insurgency, they are simultaneously unleashing the fiercest persecution of the trade union movement and establishing an environment of widespread terror in the workplace.
We demand not only the immediate freedom of our detained companions, but also the cessation of the State persecution against the oil workers and against the country’s social movement, the recognition of union freedoms and worker rights, the sovereignty of Colombian justice opposite transnational interests and the repeal of the “Statute of City Security” and other arbitrary rules that judicialize social mobilization and trample worker rights, establishing a civil dictatorship throughout the country.