OTTAWA - Today, NDP Leader Jack Layton sent a letter to Her Excellency, María Teresa García Segovia de Madero, Ambassador of Mexico to Canada to express his deep concerns about the treatment by the Mexican Government of National Miners and Metallurgical Union of Mexico (Los Mineros) and its President, Mr. Napoleon Gomez.
Layton raised the issues of Mr. Gomez's removal from his democratically elected position by the Mexican Labour Secretary without legal authority or following due process, as well as the Mexican Government's freezing of both the union's and Mr. Gomez's personal assets.
Layton is calling on the Mexican Government to restore Mr. Gomez to his elected position as leader of the union and to release his family assets as well as those of Los Mineros.
Please, find attached the letter from Mr. Layton to the Mexican Ambassador.
April 11 2006,
Her Excellency María Teresa García Segovia de Madero
Ambassador of Mexico to Canada
Embassy of Mexico in Canada
45 O'Connor Street
Dear Madam Ambassador,
I am writing you as the leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada to express my deepest concerns about the treatment by the Mexican Government of National Miners and Metallurgical Union of Mexico (Los Mineros) and its democratically elected leader, Mr. Napoleon Gomez.
It is my understanding that a document signed by three members of the union's Vigilance and Justice Committee was presented to Mexico's Minister of Labour in order to remove Mr. Gomez from his democratically elected position. The Labour Secretary, without legal authority or following due process, approved Mr. Gomez's removal. Moreover, it has come to my attention that the Labour Secretary froze the assets of the union and those of Mr. Gomez and his family.
Here in Canada, we followed with great sorrow the tragic mine disaster of Pasta de Concha, last February, in which 65 Mexican miners were killed. In 1992 an explosion at the Westray coal mine in Nova Scotia killed 26 Canadian miners. At that time, many Canadians called for and obtained a public inquiry to shed light on this painful event and to produce recommendations that will hopefully avoid further loss of workers' lives on the job. We share the Los Mineros outrage at the Pasta de Concha mine disaster and support their call for investigation into that tragedy.
For the above reasons, I respectfully request that the General Secretary, Mr. Napoleon Gomez, be reinstated to his democratically elected post at Los Mineros and that the assets of both Los Mineros and the personal assets of Mr. Gomez and his family - all of which have been seized - be unfrozen.
Finally, I insist that the democratic principle of due process surrounding these events be adhered to and that these matters be adjudicated in a court of law.
Jack Layton, MP, Toronto–Danforth
Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada