by Paul Garver
Gilberto Soto was an American citizen of Salvadorean origin, who had been organizing port truck drivers for the Teamsters In New Jersey. In 2004 he revisited El Salvador to visit his family and celebrate his 50th birthday. Because of a local news report that he was interested in supporting unionized dock workers who had been fired after privatization, he was gunned down by three armed members of a death squad. The local police refused to investigate, asserting that Soto was the victim of a robbery (even though his wallet was not taken).
The short video, produced by Ron Carver, cites other recent unsolved assassinations of unionists and other citizens fighting for their rights in El Salvador. Despite the election of a pro-FMLN government, the intellectual authors of these crimes are never successfully prosecuted.
Organizing of port truckers and other transport and dock workers is a core necessity for the workers’ movement in most countries, including the USA, as evidenced by the heroic efforts to organize immigrant truckers in southern California.