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September 18, 2013

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Urgent Action: CUPE’s Colombian partners threatened with death

A piece of paper was slipped under the door of the NOMADESC office in Cali, Colombia on Sunday, September 15 in the middle of a human rights workshop with the Women’s Committee of the Sugar Cane Cutters of Pradera. The note said that the following people will be punished with death: BERENICE CELEYTA and OLGA ARAUJO of NOMADESC; ALFAMIR CASTILLO of the Women’s Committee of the Cane Cutters; and MARTA GIRALDO of MOVICE – Valle de Cauca.

Many CUPE BC members will remember Berenice Celeyta from her stirring presentations at past Conventions, and most recently her emotional speech at CUPE BC’s 50th Annual Convention earlier this year.

NOMADESC works with communities and social organizations in the southwest region of Colombia including indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, trade unions, women’s groups and student organizations. They work to defend and promote human rights and as a result, are frequently the target of death threats and attempts on their lives (see below for more information).

CUPE, CoDev and other Canadian partners have supported the work of NOMADESC since 2003, and CUPE BC was instrumental in establishing the partnership. Please take a moment to send a letter to Colombian President Juan Manual Santos to let him know that Canadians are concerned about these threats and asking him to take action to insure the safety and well-being of these individuals. The link is below.



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