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Please Support IRA in Bringing DynCorp to Justice

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 14:25 -- admin

Dear Friends:

International Rights Advocates (www.iradvocates.org) is a small human rights advocacy group that promotes corporate accountability through legal advocacy. We focus on human rights cases and rely on individual donations and support from foundations to continue our work. After a 15-year struggle with the notorious defense contractor DynCorp International, we are going to trial on April 3, 2017 to establish that when DynCorp was implementing Plan Colombia, it unlawfully invaded Ecuadoran territory and fumigated thousands of farmers there and ruined their farms. We have been in this struggle since we filed the case on September 11, 2001, and to finally bring DynCorp to justice, we need your support.

We represent over 2,000 people who had their families injured and their farms destroyed when DynCorp unlawfully sprayed them with the chemical poison used in Plan Colombia to attempt to eradicate coca cultivation in Colombia. As part of Plan Colombia, a US military and aid initiative explicitly aimed at combatting drug cartels and left-wing insurgents in Colombian territory, DynCorp was hired to carry out aerial spraying on coca crops in Colombia - but substantial evidence shows DynCorp’s spraying had a devastating impact on food crops and negatively affected the health and mental wellbeing of Ecuadorans living in the vicinity of the spraying.

In 2007, after assessing the impact of aerial spraying of glyphosate along the Ecuadorian side of the Ecuador-Colombia border, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health Paul Hunt said: “There exists credible and trustworthy evidence that aerial fumigation with glyphosate … damages the physical health [of the local populations],” and “In Ecuador, I was provided with credible, reliable testimony that the aerial spraying of glyphosate along the Colombia-Ecuador border may damage the physical health of people living in Ecuador. There was also credible, reliable testimony that the aerial spraying may damage their mental health…I was reliably informed that military helicopters sometimes accompany the aerial spraying and the entire experience can be terrifying, especially for children, even when the helicopters remain in Colombian airspace.

On April 3, 2017, more than a decade later, 6 Ecuadoran test plaintiffs, along with a bevy of accompanying witnesses, will finally have the opportunity to share their testimony before a jury at the U.S. District Court of D.C. in hopes of holding DynCorp accountable for the devastating impact the aerial spraying had on their lives.

Throughout the course of this litigation, Plaintiffs continuously prevailed after a number of attempts to dismiss this case – and we are confident, with the facts and evidence on our side, that we will win this case – but right now, we are incurring massive expenses in Ecuador to facilitate testimony from our plaintiffs and witnesses for this trial as well as numerous other expenses and are requesting any assistance you may provide to ensure we have all the resources we need to be successful in this trial. Help us to help the thousands of Ecuadorans whose farms and families were significantly harmed by DynCorp’s actions.   

Please consider donating today by:

• Clicking on this link to our website

• Sending a check to:  International Rights Advocates
                                    621 Maryland Ave NE
                                    Washington, DC 20002

• Wiring funds to this account:

Account Name: International Rights Advocates, Inc.
Account No.: 1442722565
Bank: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Bank Address: 420 Montgomery
                        San Francisco, CA 94104
Wire Routing Transit No. (RTN/ABA): 121000248
International SWIFT/BIC Code: WFBIUS6S