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Colombian teacher trade unionist assassinations mount

1 October 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Four more teacher trade unionists have been murdered in recent weeks in the Colombian department of Antioquia, taking to over 1,000 lives the union death toll in that department alone.

The Colombian trade union federation CUT has notified campaign organisation Justice for Colombia of the most recent assassinations of teachers - all of whom were active in the teachers' trade union FECODE.

The most recent killing, on Wednesday 19 September, was of Rosalino Palacios Mosquera an English-language teacher in the town of Bello in Antioquia department. The 39-year-old was gunned down as she walked with her brother through the town. Her brother also died during the attack.

Previously, on 12 September, Alberto Valencia Correa, the head of a small primary school in the Envigado region of Antioquia, was also assassinated. Augusto Ramirez Atehortua, a teacher in the 'La Inmaculada' school in the town of Guarne, also in Antioquia, was murdered a week earlier on 6 September.

According to the CUT document received by Justice for Colombia another assassination took place on 23 June. This time the victim was Julio Cesar Gomez Cano, the leader of the regional branch of FECODE, known as ADIDA.

The CUT reports that around a quarter (257) of the assassinations of trade unionists in the department of Antioquia have been members of ADIDA-FECODE.

UCU actively supports Justice for Colombia.