Mexican Appeals Court Cancels Charges Against Gómez
TORONTO, Sept. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) praised a
Mexican appeals court decision that definitively quashes criminal
charges against Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, President and General Secretary
of the National Mine and Metal Workers Union, Los Mineros.
"What fitting news for Labour Day weekend," said Ken Neumann, USW
National Director. "Napoleón has been such an inspiration for us, and
we've been proud to stand side by side with him through eight long
years of fighting these false charges. Now he's finally victorious."
In a unanimous decision issued in open court on Aug. 28, the Fourth
Collegiate Tribunal for Criminal Matters of the First Circuit in the
Federal District ruled that the government's criminal charge against
Gómez, based on the dissolution of a union trust fund in 2005, was
baseless and unconstitutional.
This is the eleventh time that the Mexican government charged Gómez with
the same offence and the eleventh time that the appellate courts have
ruled in his favor.
"This is a triumph for the USW-Mineros alliance and for the
international trade union solidarity campaign spearheaded by Workers
Uniting and the IndustriALL Global Union," said USW International
President Leo W. Gerard. Since 2005, the USW and Los Mineros have
constructed a North American solidarity alliance based on joint
bargaining, organizing and political action.
"This court decision should finally end the political persecution of
Napoleón Gómez," Gerard said. "Since 2005 Gómez and Los Mineros have
been attacked by the Mexican government and giant mining companies like
"Congratulations, Napoleón, on behalf of USW District 3. Solidarity does
work!" said USW Western Canada Director Stephen Hunt. "This victory
would not have been possible without the USW and the support of the
labour movement around the world."
Due to the accusations, Gómez has lived in Canada since 2006. He was
granted Canadian citizenship in June of this year.
Los Mineros has been targeted for winning the highest wage increases of
any workers in Mexico and for organizing thousands of new members in a
democratic labour organization, as well as denouncing corruption and
industrial homicide in the mining industry.
"Now it is time for justice. Mexico must immediately tell Interpol to
withdraw its Red Notice so that Gómez can travel freely outside of
Canada," said Gerard. "In addition, Grupo Mexico and the other Mexican
mining interests must sit down with Los Mineros to negotiate an end to
the existing labour conflicts. Canadian mining companies such as
Excellon that have flouted the rights of Mexican workers and landowners
should also come to the table."
The ruling of the Fourth Collegiate Tribunal, like the 10 previous
appellate court decisions, found that the dissolution of the trust -
established for the benefit of the union - was lawful. The Mexican
Attorney General's office announced that it would respect the decision,
which cannot be appealed.
"The persecution of Napoleón Gómez is a case study in impunity," Gerard
said. "The United States and Canada should not even think of expanding
Mexico's trade benefits under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or any
other trade agreement, until it is clear that Mexico is going to
respect its own law and deal fairly with Los Mineros."
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Brad West, USW Communications, 604-754-1174, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, email@example.com