Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

National Union of Workers (Union Nacional de Trabajadores Salvadorenos—UNTS) (El Salvador)

The National Union of El Salvadorian Workers, or UNTS, is a human rights’ organization committed to preventing the torture and murders that occurred far too frequently in El Salvador. In 1986 they formed out of a coalition of unions that protested the commonplace disappearances. In the late eighties the political murders reached 60,000 and hardly any of them were ever brought to trial. In this time period the so called „death squadron“ had intensified their efforts. Many of the victims were members and workers of the UNTS

The overall living conditions also declined during this time period, promoting the UNTS to take action. They promoted citizens’ rights to receive an education, work, have sufficient food, and an appropriate living situation.

Their priority was to end the war, and begin discussions between freedom movements and the government. The UNTS works intensively with other independent humanitarian organizations in El Salvador. The chairperson for the UNTS, Herbert Anaya, was assassinated in October, 1987. His death was met with mass protests. Many members are threatened, and have been imprisoned and tortured. Julio Portillo, another chairperson of the UNTS was seriously injured in 1988 by a bomb.