ITF condemns attempted murder of dockworkers’ leader amid elections

The ITF has condemned in the strongest terms the murder attempt on the life of the Chair of the ITF Committee for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, Roberto Coria, on Thursday morning local time. Consequently, the ITF is demanding a swift and thorough investigation.

Roberto Coria is presently hospitalized. He is the general secretary of ITF affiliate Sindicato de Guincheros and was standing for re-election as leader of his union in Argentina.

According to an ITF statement, election officials for the union announced on Saturday that Mr Coria won re-election with almost 75% of the votes of members who participated in the election.

ITF President and Dockers’ Section chair Paddy Crumlin said: “We strongly condemn the attempted murder of Roberto Coria, our comrade and dear friend. This was a heinous and cowardly act. Under no circumstances can we permit or tolerate the use of violent acts against trade union leaders or any other interference with the democratic will of members of a trade union. The union movement is a non-violent, transparent, and democratic movement. Our leaders, from shop stewards and delegates, all the way up to national presidents and general secretaries – must always be permitted to get on with the work of representing their members without fear or intimidation.”

ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton said: “We congratulate Roberto Coria, whose leadership and representation of the transport workers of Latin America and the Caribbean is much valued amongst our global union family. It is significant that the members of Sindicato de Guincheros have returned such a strong mandate for Roberto – confirming for us that he is a strongly endorsed voice for his members, who clearly value his ongoing representation of their aspirations and interests.”

ITF Regional Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean Edgar Diaz said: “We are deeply concerned with the re-emergence of criminal acts of intimidation, which we had hoped were buried in Argentina’s past. In order to ensure that this act is the last of its kind, we urge Argentina’s judicial system to now move with utmost urgency to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible. I am thankful not only for Roberto’s survival of this horrific assassination attempt, but also that we in the region can continue to benefit from his leadership, strength and experience as we organise and fight for Latin America’s and the Caribbean’s transport workers.”

ITF Dockers’ Section Coordinator Enrico Tortalano said “From the ITF Dockers’ Section, we send our unrelenting solidarity, support and best wishes to Roberto Coria, his family, and to the members of Sindicato de Guincheros. We stand unflinchingly with Roberto at this difficult time. Roberto is a tremendous asset to the ITF Dockers’ Section and a comrade who has our respect. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back soon, fighting for his members and the wider global dockers community.”

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