Ei-iE

EI Executive Board remembers slain Colombian teacher union leader

published 18 November 2015 updated 19 November 2015

The assassination of Marcelis Mendes, the President of Coveñas regional subdivision of the Colombian Teachers Federation, was forcefully condemned by Education International’s Executive Board in Brussels.

The Education International (EI) Executive Board has issued a statement to both honour the memory and condemn the murder of Ms. Marcelis Mendes, the President of Coveñas regional subdivision of the Colombian Teachers Federation (FECODE). Mendes was murdered on November 15.

Read the statement in full here:

At its 47th meeting in Brussels, Belgium, the Executive Board of Education International (EI) has strongly condemned the assassination of Marcelis Mendes, President of the Coveñas regional subdivision of the Colombian Teachers Federation (FECODE) on November 15, 2015.

Mendes, who was not only a young female teacher leader, was also an active member of civil society. She persistently stood up against all forms of violence against her people in Coveñas, much of which was perpetrated by right-wing paramilitary forces trying to wrestle control of the region. She was especially vocal in bringing these acts of violence to light during the last election campaign. Tragically, it was presumably this engagement for a peaceful and just society that put her on a blacklist.

She was not alone. Since the beginning of 2015, 16 members of FECODE have been murdered. And in the last 20 years, 1068 teachers, members of FECODE, were assassinated.

The EI Executive Board expresses its deep sympathy for Marcelis Mendes and her family, and condemns her assassination and all assassinations of teachers and teacher union leaders, while continuing to support FECODE in their struggle for peace in Colombia.