Jorge Darío Hoyos Franco
[(Colombia) (Autor: Hijos e Hijas)] [13 de febrero de 2009]

Miércoles 11 de febrero de 2009, por Prensa - Colectivo

Jorge Darío Hoyos Franco -father, husband, trade unionist, and social and political leader, who for many years fought for social justice in Colombia and Latin America- could be the random name tied to the finger of a corpse in the morgue of any city. Jorge Darío Hoyos, however, is the name of our dreams. On March 3, 2001, he was murdered from the gunfire of two hit men as he left the house of some friends in the municipality of Fusagasugá (Cundinamarca, Colombia).

Jorge Darío Hoyos Franco -father, husband, trade unionist, and social and political leader, who for many years fought for social justice in Colombia and Latin America- could be the random name tied to the finger of a corpse in the morgue of any city. The name of the flesh wrapped in skin waiting to be recognized by some faceless family member. In some fashion, this is the idea in Colombia. Remove the face, turn death into a statistic, reduce lives to numbers that are subtracted or multiplied in accordance with particular contexts. Jorge Darío Hoyos, however, is the name of our dreams. On March 3, 2001, he was murdered from the gunfire of two hit men as he left the house of some friends in the municipality of Fusagasugá (Cundinamarca, Colombia). The months prior to his murder, Darío Hoyos, who for most of his life was involved in educating new union leadership, was dedicated to the defense of the right to public education and to teaching how to create new trade unions.

Just as Darío Hoyos, many trade unionists have been the victims of many types of human rights violations. According to figures from International Labor Organization, over the last ten years, 60 percent of all trade unionists murdered in the world were murdered in Colombia. In all, it is estimated that approximately 2,690 trade unionists were murdered in Colombia since 1986 until the beginning of 2009.

It must be understood these crimes are not isolated incidents or relate to mere private interests. To the contrary, these crimes concern a strategy developed and implemented by the very Colombian State as a way to silence the opposition in the country. Over the last years, this strategy has been revealed in criminal investigations against several senior government officials, as is the example of Jorge Noguera Cote, former director of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS by its initials in the Spanish language), who has been accused of turning a list over to paramilitary organizations with the names of trade union and political opposition leaders, several of whom were later murdered or forcibly displaced due to the threats and harassment.

After many years of struggle, the relatives and friends of Darío Hoyos decided to rescue him from oblivion, confronting the shroud of impunity and silence covering the incidents that have blinded his existence. Even though it has been proven in the courts that the motive behind the murder of Darío Hoyos was due to his trade union, social and political activity, and not due to reasons of passion (as has been insisted by the Office of the Attorney General), up to now there has only been a partial truth with no justice. For instance, even if it is certain that the two hit men and a noncommissioned police officer were convicted as the material authors, the police officer, who was convicted in absentia in 2007, appears in the Registry Office as deceased in May 2006. That is, a dead man was convicted to 40 years of prison. Moreover, in this case no one has been brought to trial or convicted as the intellectual authors -the true instigators of the crime-, those persons who felt that the organizing work carried out Darío Hoyos threatened their economic and political interests, namely regional politicians, large landowners and members of military.

The impunity of these cases reaches nearly 100 percent, since of these 2,690 murders, in only 96 cases has there been convictions of the alleged authors of the crimes. The case of Darío Hoyos is counted as one of these 96 and that is why the government presents it as a case where there has been justice, despite only achieving convictions of the material authors and not even identifying the instigators of the crime.

Sons and Daughters for Remembering and against Impunity

In order to fight against silence, forgetting, impunity, the ongoing criminalization of the opposition and difference in Colombia, all of which have closed off the potential paths to democracy, we as the sons and daughters of a whole generation, which suffered human rights violations as a consequence of their activism in political and social organizations, created the movement Sons and Daughters for Remembering and against Impunity. We firmly believe the reconstruction of memory in our country is essential in establishing the necessary debates on the type of society we have constructed and the society we desire. Little by little, this organization, which is made up of young people from different parts of the country, has been furthering its work in strengthening the construction of collective memory as the motor to transform and deepen democracy in a country that has not been able to look at the complexity of its past, fight against impunity, and demand truth, justice, and reparation.

Hijos e Hijas

Afiliaciones

Afiliado a la Federación Internacional de Derechos Humanos
y la Organización Mundial contra la Tortura
Estatus Consultivo en la OEA

José Alvear Restrepo

Nace en Medellín el 1 de julio de 1913 en el seno de una familia de profundas convicciones religiosas y bajo los parámetros de la ideología del partido conservador. Realiza sus estudios en la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Antioquia, donde se gradúa de Abogado con una brillante tesis titulada: "Conflictos del trabajo: la huelga"

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