Thursday, October 04, 2007

How many must die?

Marco Tulio laid to rest.

How many deaths will it take till we know that too many people have died?

That's the question Bob Dylan asked in his 1962 song, "Blowin' in the Wind".

And it's the question I'm asking you now -- to each and every person on this mailing list.

Less than two weeks ago, a man you've never met or even heard of, who lived in a country you may know very little about, was gunned down by masked criminals while leaving his house to go to work.

Murders happen every day. Why single this one out?
The man killed was Marco Tulio Ramírez Portela. He was in charge of sports and culture for the banana workers union in Guatemala. This is the union that organizes Del Monte workers. The bananas you eat may have been picked by members of his union.

Marco Tulio's murder on 23 September was part of a pattern of rising anti-union violence in Guatemala.

And as we've pointed out before, 144 trade union activists were killed in 2006. That's a big increase over the previous year. Note..emphasis added

If we don't make a special effort, we may become apathetic. And we may begin to accept -- by our silence -- what we know we cannot accept.

Dylan rhetorically asked how many deaths will it take?

The answer for all us should be this: Just one.

Marco Tulio's murderers are benefiting from a culture of impunity in Guatemala. Those behind the murder are convinced that few will have heard his name and fewer still will have raised their voices in protest.

Unions across Latin America have raised the cry -- "¡Basta de impunidad en Guatemala!" Unions around the world -- your union -- must take up this slogan as well.

Please, take a few seconds and go to this link -- send the strongest possible message to the authorities in Guatemala that trade union activists are not legitimate targets for assassins and death squads.

Thank you.


Please note, minor changes were made to this piece by me, but the essence remains in tact.
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?