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Updated: 18.12.2012 15:51
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Studenten bei Coca-Cola-Protest entführt

Bei einer Protestaktion der Gewerkschaft SINALTRAINAL gegen coca Cola wurden in Barranquilla am 3. Juni 4 Studenten entführt. Der (englische) Bericht und Solidaritätsaufruf "STUDENTS ON COCA-COLA PROTEST KIDNAPPED" der "Colombia Solidarity Campaign" vom 9. Juni 2005.


At around 7.30pm 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 at the junction of 18th Avenue and 30th Street, some agents belonging to paramilitary groups carrying firearms, forced four students to get into a grey van.

The students are LIZANDRO PERRIL, OMAR PERRIL, WALTER CARCAMO and BERNARDO CHARRIS, from Atlántico University and Pestazzi college. They had been demonstrating their solidarity with the Coca-Cola workers who mounted a protest outside the bottling plant from 9am. 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, they were intimidated and threatened with guns. The paramilitaries said that the Coca-Cola workers are guerrilla chiefs, and they accused the students of being guerrillas since they had helped the protest and attended it; that the zone was under paramilitary control and they would not allow any protests at that place; that they knew the students attended Atlántico University and that had their home addresses; that the students had to leave the city that day or they would be assassinated. After bearing these threats, torture and a drive round the city that lasted about 45 minutes, the students were thrown out of the vehicle near to the national police school, situated in Serri neighbourhood.

The paramilitaries did not manage to 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 made by the workers and social organisations to get an immediate intervention by the security bodies, the vice-President of the Republic and the DAS [security police] so that the comrades reappeared alive and the paramilitaries did not achieve their objective of disappearing and assassinating them.

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 statistics have demonstrated, the government of 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.

State indulgence is lending them more protection with the deceitful negotiations that are taking place, to impose a pardon and forgetting [of the human rights violations], thereby eliminating the trade union and social movement that seeks peace with social justice, democracy and resists the authoritarianism and militarism of this government. We demand that the Government of Álvaro Uribe Vélez 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.


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