Guatemala  VIOLENCE


Violence against SITRABI


Open Letter from IUF Latin America

to the President of Guatemala


Regional Latinoamericana
Unión Internacional de Trabajadores de la Alimentación, Agrícolas, Hoteles, Restaurantes, Tabaco y Afines (Rel-UITA)



Norberto Latorre
UTHGRA  Argentina

Luis A. Pedraza
UNAC  Colombia

Neuza Barbosa
CNTA  Brasil 

Carolina Llanos
UATRE  Argentina 

Héctor Ponce
ATILRA  Argentina

Silvia Villaverde

David Morales
FESTRAS  Guatemala

da Costa Luna
CONTAG  Brasil

Siderlei Oliveira
CONTAC  Brasil

Guillermo Rivera

Wendy Yadira Chavarría Mejía
FESTRAS  Guatemala

Eduardo Esquivel
STIE  México

María Dafur

Gerardo Iglesias
Secretario Regional




To the President of the Republic of Guatemala

Mr. Otto Pérez Molina

Palacio de Gobierno



We are writing you because we have been informed by the Union of Banana Workers of Izabal (SITRABI), an affiliate of our federation, of the tragic murder of another one of their members, unionist Miguel Ángel González Ramírez, on February 5, in the village of El Cedro, municipality of Morales, Izabal.


Deeply saddened, but above all profoundly outraged, we are addressing you now to denounce and condemn this vile murder, and to express our great concern for the safety of SITRABI leaders and members.


Our concern stems from the escalating wave of violence against this trade union and the workers it represents.


Several workers and leaders of SITRABI have been killed in the last ten months: Oscar Humberto González Vásquez (April 10, 2011); Idar Joel Hernández Godoy (May 26, 2011); Henry Aníbal Marroquín Orellana (September 24, 2011); Pablino Yaque Cervantes (October 16, 2011); and now Miguel Ángel González Ramírez, the latest name added to this macabre list.


These serious crimes reveal a situation of extreme repression and persecution against SITRABI, aggravated by your government’s recent decision to remove the security guards appointed to protect the general secretary of the union, Noé Ramírez Portela.


We believe that if you persist in your decision to remove Ramírez’ protection you will be putting his life seriously at risk and your government will be solely responsible for anything that may happen to him.


Thus, we demand effective protection for SITRABI’s leaders and members, and that security guards be reappointed to its general secretary, and at the same time call for an in-depth investigation of these crimes and for the direct perpetrators of the murders and those who ordered them to be punished with the full force of the law.


We will remain alert and will closely monitor the investigation of the murder of Miguel Ángel González Ramírez and the other slain members of SITRABI, an organization that has our firm support and is backed by international solidarity.



Gerardo Iglesias

IUF Latin American Regional Secretary



Panama City, February 24, 2012





Wilson Ferreira Aldunate 1229 Of. 201, Montevideo, Uruguay

Tel: (598) 29007473 - 29021048 / Fax: 29030905  -



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  UITA - Secretaría Regional Latinoamericana - Montevideo - Uruguay

Wilson Ferreira Aldunate 1229 / 201 - Tel. (598 2) 900 7473 -  902 1048 -  Fax 903 0905