Union official assassinated in El Salvador

August 3, 2007

This appeal was issued on July 30 by Public Services International (PSI) following the assassination of Miguel Angel Vasquez Argueta, finance secretary for PSI's affiliate STSEL in the electricity sector. PSI is calling for a full and independent investigation into the matter.

PSI only very recently launched an urgent action appeal on July 13, concerning acts of violence in El Salvador, when participants of a public meeting to oppose water privatisation were victims of brutal repression by the national police force. The STSEL had taken an active part in these protests.

It is with great sorrow that PSI learned of the assassination of Miguel Angel Vasquez Argueta, who went missing on July 17 and was discovered the following day assassinated with two bullets in the head.

Miguel Vasquez was highly respected by his colleagues and recognised as a responsible and committed trade union official dedicated to the defence of workers' rights and social justice.

PSI extends its most sincere condolences to Miguel Vasquez's family, friends, relatives and colleagues and fully supports STSEL in its demands to the El Salvador government:

•That the case be thoroughly investigated and that the intellectual and physical authors of these crimes be detained and brought to justice;

•That previous and similar cases, such as that of Gilberto Soto, assassinated last November by gunshot, also be thoroughly investigated and that the impunity of those responsible be brought to an end;

•That the Salvadoran government respect fundamental human and trade union rights including the right to life, freedom of speech and freedom of association in conformity with international standards.

[PSI is calling for letters of protest to be sent to President Antonio Saca and the El Salvadoran ambassador in your country condemning the assassination and demanding a proper investigation. Visit <http://www.world-psi.org> for more information.]

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