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URGENT ACTION: 4 STUDENTS PROTESTING COCA-COLA KIDNAPPED IN COLOMBIA

At around 7.30 pm on 3 June 2005, as SINALTRAINAL's protest against Coca-Cola for its policies of environmental destruction was ending (5 June being world environment day) just two blocks from the Barranquilla bottling plant, agents belonging to paramilitary groups carrying firearms, forced four students to get into a gray van. The students are LIZANDRO PERRIL, OMAR PERRIL, WALTER CARCAMO and BERNARDO CHARRIS, from Atlantico University and Pestazzi College. They had been demonstrating their solidarity with the Coca-Cola workers who mounted a protest outside the bottling plant beginning at 9 am. Other students managed to escape by throwing themselves out of the car and taking refuge in the 'Las Nieves' neighourhood.

Inside the vehicle, the students were forced to bend their heads face down and threatened with guns. The paramilitaries said that the Coca-Cola workers are guerrilla chiefs. They accused the students of being guerrillas since they had helped the protest and attended it. They stated that the zone was under paramilitary control and they would not allow any protests there. They knew the students attended Atlantico University and had their home addresses. The paramilitaries ordered the students to leave the city that day or be assassinated. After facing these threats, torture and a drive round the city that lasted about 45 minutes, the students were thrown out of the vehicle near the national police school, situated in Serri neighbourhood.

The paramilitaries could not "disappear" the students thanks to the rapid protests by the comrade responsible for Human Rights in the CUT, as well as the local and national leadership of SINALTRAINAL and the pressure that was exerted by the workers and social organisations to get immediate intervention by the security bodies, the vice-President of the Republic and the DAS [security police]. The students reappeared alive and the paramilitaries did not achieve their objectives.

Once again, this incident occurs at the time when we are presenting our annual negotiating position to Coca-Cola on the north coast region [where Barranquilla is located]. And as the facts have demonstrated, the government of President ALVARO URIBE VELEZ is lying to the world, given that this band of criminal paramilitaries continues assassinating, massacring, disappearing, torturing, forcibly displacing and terrorising the population. The State is affording these paramilitaries protection with the deceitful negotiations seeking to pardon and forgetting human rights violations. The trade unions and social movements seek peace with justice and democracy that resists the authoritarianism and militarism of the government. We demand that the Government of President Alvaro Uribe Velez investigates and punishes those responsible for this macabre incident, that it guarantees union activity and protects the lives of the workers, students, communities and trade unionists.

Yours faithfully,

LUIS JAVIER CORREA SUAREZ
President SINALTRAINAL


NUEVOS ATENTADOS DEL PARAMILITARISMO EN BENEFICIO DE LA TRANSNACIONAL COCA COLANUEVOS ATENTADOS DEL PARAMILITARISMO EN BENEFICIO DE LA TRANSNACIONAL COCA COLA

EL 3 de junio de 2005 siendo aproximadamente a las 7:30 P. M. en momentos en que termino la protesta nacional de SINALTRAINAL contra coca cola por la politica de destruccion del medio ambiente, recordando que el 5 de Junio es el dia mundial del medio ambiente, en la calle 30 con carrera 18 a dos cuadras de la embotelladora de coca cola unos sujetos pertenecientes a grupos paramilitares con arma de fuego en mano obligaron a la fuerza subir a una camioneta de color gris a LIZANDRO PERRIL, OMAR PERRIL, WALTER CARCAMO, BERNARDO CHARRIS estudiantes de la Universidad del Atlantico y del colegio Pestazzi que estaban brindando la solidaridad a los trabajadores de coca cola en su protesta que inicio en la ciudad de Barranquilla frente a la embotelladora de coca cola desde las 9:00 A. M., y otros dos estudiantes lograron escaparse arrojandose del carro y se refugiaron en el barrio las nieves.

Dentro del carro fueron obligados a tenderse boca abajo, los intimidaron y los amenazaron con las armas diciendoles que dijeran quien de los trabajadores de coca cola era el jefe de la guerrilla y acusaban a los estudiantes de guerrilleros; que cuanto les pagaban por apoyar la protesta y por que estaban alli, que esa zona era de su control y que no iban a permitir que siguieran realizando protestas en el lugar, que sabian que eran estudiantes de la Universidad del Atlantico y tenian las direcciones de sus casas que tenian plazo hasta hoy para abandonar la ciudad o los asesinaban. Despues de soportar las amenazas, la tortura y un recorrido por la ciudad de aproximadamente 45 minutos los fueron arrojando del carro cerca a la escuela de la policia Nacional ubicada en el barrio Serri.

No lograron desparecerlos gracias a la denuncia rapida y la accion del companero responsable de Derechos Humanos de la CUT, la Junta Directiva Nacional y seccional de SINALTRAINAL y la presion que se hizo por parte de los trabajadores y las organizaciones sociales, se logro la intervencion inmediata de los cuerpos de seguridad, la vicepresidencia de la republica y el DAS para que los companeros aparecieran con vida y los paramilitares no lograran su objetivo de desaparecerlos definitivamente y asesinarlos.

Este hecho se presenta una vez mas en momentos en que nos encontramos en la negociacion del pliego de peticiones presentado a coca cola en la Costa Norte y que asi como lo ha demostrado las estadisticas, el gobierno de ALVARO URIBE VELEZ y los paramilitares estan mintiendole al mundo ya que esta banda de criminales sigue asesinando, masacrando, despareciendo, torturando, desplazando y aterrorizando, a la poblacion con la complacencia del estado que les esta otorgando mas proteccion con el mentiroso proceso de negociacion que adelantan, para imponer el perdon y olvido y aniquilar al movimiento sindical y social que busca la paz con justicia social, la democracia y se resiste al autoritarismo y militarismo de este gobierno.

Exigimos del Gobierno de Alvaro Uribe Velez investigar y castigar a los responsables de este macabro hecho, garantizar la actividad sindical y proteger la vida de los trabajadores, estudiantes, comunidades y sindicalistas.

Atentamente,

LUIS JAVIER CORREA SUAREZ
Presidente


Send immediate protests to:

Presidencia de la República


Dr. álvaro Uribe Vélez,
Cra. 8 No..7-26,
Palacio de Nariño,
Santa fe de Bogotá.
Colombia
Fax: (+57 1) 566.20.71 E-mail: auribe@presidencia.gov.co

[OR to better send e-mail to Uribe login to http://www.presidencia.gov.co and click on ESCRIBALE AL PRESIDENTE at the bottom of the page.
Para enviar correo al Sr Presidente, dirmjase a la pagina
Web: http://www.presidencia.gov.co y haga clic en ESCRIBALE AL PRESIDENTE
ubicado en la parte inferior, al final de la pagina.]

Vicepresidencia de la República
Dr. Francisco Santos
E-mail: fsantos@presidencia.gov.co

In the U.S.:
Colombian Embassy
2118 Leroy Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tels: (202) 387-8338
Fax (202) 232-8643
Email: emwas@colombiaemb.org

In Canada
Colombian Embassy
360 Albert St., Suite 1002
Ottawa, ON. - K1R 7X7
Tels: (613) 230-3760 / 1
Fax: (613) 230-4416
E-mail: embajada@embajadacolombia.ca

In the UK:
Colombian Embassy
Flat 3A, 3 Hans Crescent,
London SW1X 0LN.
Tel: 020 7589 9177
Fax: 020 7581 1829
Colombian Embassy (UK): mail@colombianembassy.co.uk
Bill Rammell: rammellb@parliament.uk]

In Mexico:
Colombian Embassy
Paseo de la Reforma 1620,
Colonia lomas de Chapultepec, Mexico D. F
Telephone: 009 52 5 2027299
Fax: 009 52 5 5209669

In Bolivia:
Consulate of Colombia in La Paz, Bolivia
9 No. 7835 Street, Calacoto,
La Paz, Bolivia,
Telephone:(591) 2 -786841/784491
Fax: (591) 2 -786510

In Brazil:
Consulate of Colombia in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Praia Do Flamengo,
284, Office 101, Manaos CEP 22210 - 030 R.J.
Brasil Rio de Janeiro
Telephone: 55 - 21 - 5525048 / 5526248 Sao Paulo
Fax: 55 - 21 - 5525449 Tabatinga
Email: consulbiario@antares.com.br

In Australia:
Consulate Honorary of Colombia in Melbourne, Australia
36 First Street,
Black Rock VIC 3193
Telephone: (03) 9589 3701
Fax: (03) 9589 0696
Email: andes@mydesk.net.au

In Italy:
Embassy of Colombia in Holy See, Italy
Cola di Rienzo, 285 00192
Rome, Italy
Telephone: 009 39 06 3211681
Fax: 009 39 06 3211703

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