UNI GS: Brinks should denounce threats of violence against Colombian labor activists and their families
In a letter from General Secretary Christy Hoffman to Brinks CEO Douglas Pertz, UNI Global Union is calling on the company to take the urgent steps necessary to guarantee the safety of five union activists under a death threat.
Leaders of UNI’s Colombian affiliate, SINTRABRINKS, received the threats on Monday, October 28. The Águilas Negras (Black Eagles) told union activists Rómer Díaz, Rigoberto Bello, Javier Vega, Ronis Atencia, and Jose Claro over WhatsApp to "be careful with their lives and lives of their families” and stating that “next time the threat will be hard-hitting and real.”
The paramilitary group is well known for targeting union and social leaders, and given the current epidemic of violence against justice activists in Colombia, this threat is credible and very serious.
Rumors are circulating that Brink’s itself is behind these threats, and because of this, we ask that you address this situation immediately, with a strong statement condemning the threat and disavowing any support for the instigation of violence. More than that, we also call on Brinks to put in place the extra security measures necessary to ensure the safety of these workers and their families.
The global letter follows a call from UNI Americas for the protection of these union activists.
Brinks has a history of union busting in Colombia, and UNI will continue to stand with SINTRABRINKS leaders until their safety is ensured.