On April 9, 2007, 29-year-old FLOC organizer Santiago Rafael Cruz was bound with rope and beaten to death in FLOC’s Monterrey office. Cruz had only recently arrived in Mexico after 4 years as a FLOC organizer in the US. The IUF-affiliated Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) in 2005 had set up an office in Monterrey, Mexico – the first of its kind – to assist these workers in obtaining the necessary visas and educating them about their rights.
Farmworkers travelling from Mexico to work in the United States are prey to unscrupulous labour contractors: in the course of their journey to work in the fields, migrant workers are often extorted and abused.
Following Cruz’s murder the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an organ of the intergovernmental Organization of American States, called on the government of Mexico to implement protective measures for the physical safety of FLOC members and staff and to vigorously investigate the case.
Nearly 4 years later, the killers – and those who organized the assassination – are still at large.
FLOC and the IUF have launched an Appeal for Justice, calling for action on the Cruz case to stem the rising tide of impunity for acts of violence against trade unionists in Mexico and the Latin American region. Action NOW by the government of Mexico would “prevent new attacks against people seeking to exercise their internationally recognized right to improve their lives through labor organizing and collective bargaining. Failure to act sends the intolerable message that criminals may carry out unspeakable acts in Mexico with impunity.”
You can support the Appeal for Justice – click here to to send a message endorsing the Appeal. Your support for their petition is part of a wider campaign to press for decisive action on the Cruz killing.