WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee made the following statement regarding the Oct. 4, 2023, murder of Doris Lisseth Aldana Calderón, a union leader in Guatemala:
“The U.S. Department of Labor condemns the brutal murder of Doris Lisseth Aldana Calderón, a trade union leader at a banana packing facility in Guatemala and member of SITRABI, the Izabal Banana Workers’ Union representing 3,000 workers.
“We extend our sincere condolences to Doris Aldana’s family and friends, to SITRABI, as well as to the wider community of labor rights advocates in Guatemala who had the privilege of knowing and working alongside her in the pursuit of justice. We call on Guatemalan authorities to thoroughly investigate Aldana’s murder, including possible links to her union activity, and to hold the perpetrators — including the intellectual authors of the attack — accountable. Workers have a right to form and join unions, and unions have a right to operate free from violence, threats and harassment. These rights must be protected. Through our ongoing work in Guatemala, the U.S. Department of Labor is committed to engaging locally, including with the Guatemalan government, to protect union leaders’ human and labor rights.”