Murder of Union Leader Goes Unpunished

It’s been fifteen months since Gilberto Soto, a Teamster from New Jersey who returned to his native El Salvador to organize port drivers in Central America was murdered. Yet the murder remains unsolved.

Union officials have accused U.S. officials of not pressing for justice because of the bad press it would create during CAFTA negotiations. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said that if in fact Soto was murdered because of his union activity it could have made a difference in the CAFTA vote in the U.S. Congress, which was narrowly passed.

The people originally charged with the murder have recently been set free.

"We received assurances that the Salvadoran government would conduct an objective, open-ended inquiry," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "That never happened."

The Teamsters have hired a high profile investigator to conduct an independent investigation.