SANTIAGO RAFAEL CRUZ
Presente!

     

One year after your assassination,
your family, friends, colleagues, and members of FLOC
celebrate your life as our compañero
.


"Tantas veces me mataron, tantas veces me mori, sin embargo estoy aquí resucitando...." ["So many times they killed me, so many times I died, however I am here resurrecting.. "], sings Maria Elena Walsh, the singer and composer from Argentina celebrating the life of the extraordinary who give everything they've got, even their lives, for justice and for a better world for all of us.

On April 9, 2007, Santiago Rafael Cruz, an organizer with FLOC, was brutally murdered at the FLOC offices in Monterrey, Mexico. The FLOC office in Monterrey was opened in 2004 after the union signed an agreement covering some 8,000 agricultural guestworkers from Mexico. The new members requested the union open an office in Monterrey as they explained many of their grievances arose during the recruitment process. Before the FLOC victory, workers used to pay on average $600 dollars to corrupt recruiters just "for the benefit" of being recruited into the program. All of that was eliminated by the new FLOC contract, re-negotiated last February. An additional $346 that workers used to pay in visa and travel expenses was also eliminated per agreement between the union and the employers.

As the union challenged and changed the old system of recruitment and travelled all over Mexico educating the workers on the new regulations (which saved over $3 million dollars to the workers just the first year!) hostility towards union staff grew. These events led to the assessination of Santiago Rafael Cruz. As of today, the crime has not been resolved and it is under investigation. One person has been aprehended. He has presented a complaint arguing his confession was done under torture and blames two men and a woman as the actual murderers. One of the accused was caught by US authorities trying to cross the border last November and returned to Sonora to be liberated soon thereafter by Mexican authorities.

FLOC has hired two well known human rights attorneys in Mexico to pursue the case for the organization and Santiago's family.  Our own investigation will continue until we bring  justice to the investigation

For the anniversary of Santiago Rafael Cruz's assassination, several special events are being planned:

    In Toledo, FLOC will celebrate a mass on April 10 at 7:00 pm
    at St. Peter and Paul Church, 728 S. St. Clair Street. 

    In Monterrey, FLOC will celebrate a mass on April 12 at 10:00 am
    at La Purisima Church, followed by a march and a press conference
    at the FLOC office.

    In Detroit, the Labor Notes conference on April 11-13 will honor
    Santiago Rafael with a special presentation in the plenary session
    by the FLOC President Baldemar Velásquez.

    In Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan Latinos in Labor Conference
    on April 18-20 is celebrating this year in honor of Santiago Rafael.

FLOC invites the community to join us in celebrating Santiago's life and to honor all like him who gave their lives for a better world.  Santiago's hand is warmly extending the torch to us, to continue the work for justice and equality for all. Let's take the torch and run!

ACTION

 FLOC asks our supporters to write Mexican President Felipe Calderon

    Felipe Calderón Hinojosa
    Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
    Residencia Oficial de "Los Pinos", Casa Miguel Alemán
    Col. San Miguel Chapultepec
    México D.F. 11850, México
    Telephone from the U.S.: (011-52) (55) 27-89-11-00
    Fax from the U.S.: (011-52) (55) 52-77-23-76, 52-77-23-76
    Email: felipe.calderon@presidencia.gob.mx

With copies to:

    José Natividad González Parás
    Gobernador de Nuevo León
    Zaragoza y 5 de Mayo, Colonia Centro
    Monterrey N.L. 64000, México
    Telephone from the U.S.: (011-52) (81) 2020-1226 or 2020-1509
    Fax from the U.S.: (011-52) (81) 2020-1087 or 2020-1085
    Email: gobernador@nl.gob.mx

    Santiago Canton
    Executive Secretary
    Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
    1889 F St., NW
    Washington, D.C., USA 20006.
    Telephone: (202) 458-6002
    Fax: (202) 458-3992
    E-mail:  cidhoea@oas.org

    Ambassador Antonio Garza, Jr.
    U.S. Embassy
    Paseo de la Reforma 305
    Colonia Cuahtemoc
    Mexico, D.F. 06500
    Telephone from the U.S.:  (011-52) (55) 5080-2000
    Fax from the U.S.:  (011-52) (55) 5525-5040
    Email:  ccs@usembassy.net.mx

    Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO
    1221 Broadway Street
    Toledo, OH 43609
    Telephone: 419-243-3456
    Fax: (419) 243-5655
    Email: info@floc.com

In your message, explain:
1. One year after the assassination of Santiago Rafael, the government
    of Nuevo Leon has not been able to show clearly and precisely
    what happened and has clearly demonstrated that it is not serious
    in investigating who is behind his vicious murder.
2. Without a resolution of the murder, the FLOC staff and members
    cannot feel safe, as is the intent of the protective order of the
    Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Then ask that:

The Government of Mexico take over the investigation of the vicious murder of Santiago Rafael Cruz, which it is entitled to do in a human rights case.  Ask that the investigation focus on political motives for the murder, particularly the corruption in the recruitment of Mexican migrant workers, in violation of Mexican national labor laws.

For more information and a sample letter to President Felipe Calderon, go to:

    Remember Santiago!
    FLOC News

Please circulate to your networks.  Thank you for your support in the fight for justice for Santiago Rafael Cruz.





This list is operated by the Campaign for Migrant Worker Justice to keep supporters informed about FLOC activities and events. More information can be found on the FLOC website at www.floc.com,

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