Alberto Román Acosta was the president of the National Union of Agricultural Workers and fought for over ten years for the rights of the sugar cane cutters. Sugar cane cutters work under very harsh conditions for over 14 hours a day and make less than $200 per month.
If a worker is injured on the job they receive no compensation as well as not receiving any healthcare and they must provide their own equipment for their work. The organisations, such as The National Union of Workers in Agricultural Industries (SINTRAINAGRO), that work to protect these workers are often the targets of terror groups as they oppose peace processes that are being carried out by these trade union groups. Around 1,300 members and leaders of SINTRAINAGRO have unfortunately been murdered under these circumstances.
On the 30 June 2017, Alberto Román Acosta was shot by two unidentified men on a motorbike while he was watching his son’s football game. He later died in San Rafael hospital in El Cerrito. After Acosta’s death his union released a statement demanding a thorough investigation into his killing and also calling for President Calderón and his government to protect union leaders and members so that they can continue t0 carry out their work without the constant threat of death.