Convention Resolution

Resolution 47: Justice for Santiago Rafael Cruz

Submitted by the Farm Labor Organizing Committee

Referred to the Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, on the morning  of April 9, 2007, the body of Santiago Rafael Cruz, a union organizer for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO, was found in FLOC’s office in Monterrey, Mexico. He had been brutally tortured and murdered, and his dead body was tied and left in the union office; and

WHEREAS, FLOC represents Mexican migrant workers who travel from Mexico to North Carolina to work under a U.S. guest worker program. Santiago defended the human and labor rights of Mexican farm workers going to the United States, and he paid the ultimate price. Santiago was thirty years old; and

WHEREAS, following Santiago’s assassination, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights found sufficient evidence that the murder was politically motivated, and issued a protective order for FLOC staff and members in Mexico; and

WHEREAS, to date only one of the murderers has been captured and sentenced to prison, but three other suspects are still at large. FLOC is seeking justice for Santiago Rafael Cruz and his family, and punishment for those who are responsible for his murder; and

WHEREAS, union investigations have uncovered widespread corruption among Mexican labor recruiters  who hire Mexican workers for U.S. agribusiness. Mexican workers covered by a FLOC contract are no longer victimized by unscrupulous recruiters. Santiago Rafael Cruz’s murder was a message to FLOC to back down. The staff and members of FLOC in Mexico cannot feel safe until all of the murderers of Santiago Rafael Cruz are found and punished; an

WHEREAS, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission has given protective status to FLOC, its staff and members in Mexico; and

WHEREAS, the state government of Nuevo Leon has done nothing to bring the assassins of Santiago Rafael Cruz to justice;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO call on the federal government of Mexico to take over the investigation of the murder of Santiago Rafael Cruz from the state of Nuevo Leon so that his assassins can be apprehended, and, after more than 6 years, be finally brought to justice; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO call on the US State Department to advocate that the federal government of Mexico take over the investigation of the murder of Santiago Rafael Cruz, monitor the investigation, and report back on the progress of the Cruz case to FLOC; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO supports FLOC and its efforts to resolve the case of Santiago Rafael Cruz, and will assist FLOC’s campaign to protect the labor rights and human rights of its staff and members in Mexico.