Family members of Colombians killed by left-wing guerrillas and the AUC paramilitary group brought ATS, TVPA, state law, and Colombian law claims against Chiquita, a company that provided substantial support to both left-wing guerrilla groups and the AUC.
Ten years ago, Chiquita Brands International became the first U.S.-based corporation convicted of violating a U.S. law against funding an international terrorist group—the paramilitary United Self-defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). But punishment for the crime was reserved only for the corporate entity, while the names of the individual company officials who engineered the payments have since remained hidden behind a wall of impunity.
As Colombian authorities now prepare to prosecute business executives for funding groups responsible for major atrocities during Colombia’s decades-old conflict, a new set of Chiquita Papers, made possible through the National Security Archive’s FOIA lawsuit, has for the first time made it possible to know the identities and understand the roles of the individual Chiquita executives who approved and oversaw years of payments to groups responsible for countless human rights violations in Colombia.
Companies who financed paramilitary death squads in Colombia’s banana growing region, including Chiquita’s subsidiary, will face charges for crimes against humanity, the Prosecutor General’s Office said Thursday. The prosecution decision is unprecedented as never before have private enterprises been charged with crimes against humanity.
Multinational companies have benefited as paramilitaries have violently evicted thousands of people from their land, clearing the way for large-scale mining, oil or agro-industrial projects. These companies are knowingly operating in a country where death squads suppress dissent by targeting community activists and trade unionists...There is almost total impunity for the security forces and their paramilitary allies who target land activists and community leaders and those who have protested against large-scale mining, oil and agro-industrial projects.
On November 29, 2016, a federal court in Florida issued a long-awaited ruling denying Chiquita’s last effort to have the case dismissed brought by thousands of Colombian nationals who sued Chiquita for funding the AUC paramilitary units that murdered their family members.
Human rights defenders and families of victims are one step closer to justice for Colombian labor leaders and other activists murdered at the hands of right-wing paramilitaries paid by U.S. banana giant Chiquita Brands as a U.S. court gave the green light Wednesday for the trial to move forward against the company and its top executives.
Coca Cola is one of more than 50 companies facing terrorism support charges in Colombia. Among those companies are Chiquita and Drummond, both of which International Rights Advocates are actively litigating in US courts for their involvement in human rights violations in Colombia.
To read more, see here: http://colombiareports.com/coca-cola-facing-terrorism-support-charges-co...
After it was determined in June 2016 that the court in the Southern District of Florida lacked personal jurisdiction in the Chiquita case, a hearing will take place before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation at the end of September 2016 to determine whether our case is to be transferred back to the US District Court for DC.
July 25, 2014 Washington, D.C.— On July 24, 2014, in a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit dismissed the cases against Chiquita Brands International for human rights violations in Colombia. The Court dismissed the cases for lack of jurisdiction based on the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., which held that claims brought under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) must have a significant connection to the United States. In mechanically applying Kiobel to Plaintiffs´ ATS claims in Chiquita, the Eleventh Circuit panel ignored the major distinctions between the two cases, including that the defendant in Kiobel was a Dutch-British national and all of the relevant conduct took place in Nigeria. Chiquita is a U.S. company that pled guilty in U.S. criminal court for funding a terrorist paramilitary organization in Colombia, and the decisions made by Chiquita that led to the human rights violations against Plaintiffs were made in the U.S. and funded from the U.S. The thousands of Plaintiffs who had family members murdered in Colombia due to Chiquita’s collaboration with terrorist paramilitaries plan to seek further review in the Eleventh Circuit, and if necessary, the Supreme Court.
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