me, but from your name I don't know whether you're a man or a woman
- either way it makes no difference to me. The important thing is, even
although I don't know you personally, I know you and I saw your fax
to Doris and Carlos of SITRAP asking for their personal comments about
name is Marielos Arias and I work for the co-ordinating body of Latin
American banana workers trade unions - COLSIBA in the San Jose office.
It was my responsibility to participate in the organising of various
regional workshops, in which César also took part and it is this
that has moved me to write to you.
most vivid image I have of César, the one for me which most characterised
him, was his HUMILITY. Although his physical appearance
was that of someone strong and stocky, hiss expression and his smile
radiated so much calmness and tenderness.
the last workshop run by COLSIBA that he participated in, on the 18th
and 19th of last November (1999) in San José (just a few days
before he was murdered), I asked him how he, a banana worker, had such
lovely handwriting, his handwriting was really beautiful: César
replied that although he'd been born into a banana producing part of
Colombia, his grandmother had told him that he should study. That was
why he had decided to combine his job at the banana plantation with
secondary school studies. He proudly told me that he was one of the
few banana workers to have completed secondary school - then he gave
a broad smile.
conclude, I can tell you that generally that banana workers are quite
rough and ready - they use strong language and aren't what you'd exactly
call refined so it was strange for me to come across a male banana worker
and trade unionist who was really articulate and able to express himself
- he was very sensitive; markedly different from what you'd expect,
because, in spite of knowing that his life was in constant danger, his
face and broad smile were always so sweet, kind and tender.
upsets me so much, that his wife and children have lost him but it pains
me more that Colombia, a nation in constant conflict, has lost César.
MEN DON'T DESERVE TO DIE LIKE THIS