Unite the Union

Unite the Union

December 07, 2007 11:13 ET

Christmas campaign to free Colombian trade unionist

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 7, 2007) -

Embargoed until 00.01 Monday 10th December 2007

Unite, the UK's biggest trade union, has launched a campaign aimed at freeing Colombian trade unionist Carmen Mayusa.

Unite have organised a Christmas Card campaign to get British MP's and MEP's to send a Christmas message of solidarity to political prisoner Ms Mayusa.

Ms Mayusa, who is the leader of the Colombian health workers trade union ANTHOC, was arrested back in May 2006 and has been detained since without trial.

At the time of her arrest Carmen was involved in ANTHOC's campaigns against the privatisation of health services, and for human rights for trade unionists.

The card is to be sent to Carmen at Buen Pastor Women's Prison in Bogota via Dr Carlos Eduardo Medellin Becerra, the Ambassador at the Colombian Embassy for 'safe delivery'.

Gail Cartmail, Unite Assistant General Secretary says:

"Carmen has been detained without trial for her work against the privatisation of health services. Her imprisonment has struck a chord with the hundred thousand Unite members working across the public services in the UK and has their full support.

"We will not stand by while the Colombian government continues to intimidate and repress its critics with violence. Unite will continue to campaign for the freedom of Colombia's political prisoners."

Notes to editors:

The photo of Carmen Mayusa on the front of Unites' Christmas card was bought at an exhibition of work from photographer Sam Green. In 2007 he visited Colombia with 'Justice for Colombia' to photograph some of the most threatened people there. He was also able to go to regions that are normally almost impossible for foreigners to enter.

The photographs make for a compelling and unparalleled exhibition and will soon be available to view on the Unite website www.unitetheunion.com

You can also visit the 10 Downing Street website and add your support to the Justice for Colombia petition to suspend UK military aid to the Colombian armed forces until their human rights record improves. Colombia remains the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists, with 84 activists murdered last year. Click here: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Colombia/

Contact Information

  • Jody Whitehill
    07768 693956