Gangster tactics against the unions in the pineapple industry

This figure is refereed to in the book as Box 2.1 (Page 35)

Didier Leitón Valverde

Didier Leitón Valverde is a leader of the trade union SITRAP, the Costa Rican agricultural and plantation workers union. At 7:30 pm on 5 October 2005, after a meeting with workers on the Cahuita and Tortuguero plantations owned by the company Desarrollo Agroindustrial de Frutales S.A., he left for home on his motorbike. On the way he was attacked by unidentified assailants who had barred the road with a rope. He was insulted, beaten up, dragged across the ground and threatened with death. His identity papers, money and motorbike were stolen. The course of events suggests that the assailants had been informed of his movements and were not there by chance.

Didier Leitón Valverde knew that the road was not safe after dark and that taking it was risky. He would have preferred leaving earlier but the plantation owners had given him no choice but to hols the meeting late. He had agreed because he knew that the workers were victims of an aggressive anti-union campaign and it was important to him not to let them down.

Source: Peuples Solidaires (7 February 2006) ‘Costa Rica: Unionists Attacked’, France, www.peuples-solidaires.org/

Aquiles Rivera

Aquiles Rivera is a Costa Rican trade unionist member of the SITEPP union (Public and Private Enterprise Workers’ Union). He has exposed and fought against environmental problems caused by pineapple cultivation in the south of the country and labour problems experienced in the pineapple plantations. In May 2009 he was followed by four unidentified persons who stopped him in a dark area and warned him to stop what he was doing or he would be silenced. His 14 year old son was also threatened.

At the same time, the SITEPP office was also broken into and fifteen folders stolen, among them being documents about the use of chemicals in the area, windows were broken and other equipment damaged.

Pindeco denied any link with this event or any other persecution of SITEPP.


Aarón Sequeira (20 May 2009) ‘Amenazas de muerte y destrucción de oficina’, Prensa Libre.
Semanario Universidad (8 July 2009) ‘Comunidades pagan costosa factura’, Semanario Universidad, San José, Costa Rica.
Michelle Soto (14 June 2010) ‘Luchar Con la Vida’, Perfil, www.perfilcr.com/contenido/articles/3176/7/25-anos-de-lucha-ambiental/Page7 (accessed 10.01.11).