News & Updates
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.
Company's corporate affairs manager writes in response to NOW article that "child labour in our cocoa supply chain is a complex issue"
On November 7, 2016, International Rights Advocates together with lead co-counsel filed their Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motions to Dismiss in the Nestle case arguing plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that all three of the corporate Defendants in the Nestle case aided and abetted slavery and forced labor in Côte d’Ivoire.
Two publicly-owned heating plants in north Jutland and Funen have been burning coal from the controversial US-owned mining company in Colombia, Drummond. Drummond has been accused of supporting paramilitary groups in Colombia and being behind thousands of murders and the displacement of some 60,000 people.
To read more, see this article from Christian W. posted on The Copenhagen Post Online on October 28, 2016 here: http://cphpost.dk/news/danish-heating-plants-accused-of-using-colombian-...
On September 27, 2016, in Melo et al. v. Drummond Company Inc. et al., Case No 16-10921, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed in part and affirmed in part the District Court’s dismissal of claims brought by the heirs of 34 decedents they allege were murdered by members of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (“AUC”) who were collaborating with Drummond. The case alleges that Drummond aided and abetted the AUC by providing it with significant financial support, logistical assistance, supplies and a safe haven so that the AUC would defeat FARC guerillas operating around Drummond’s coal mine and railroad line in Cesar Province, Colombia. The complaint alleges that Drummond in effect sided with the AUC in its violent war against the FARC and joined in the AUC’s war crimes and extrajudicial killings. The Colombian Plaintiffs welcome the renewed prospect of holding the Drummond Defendants accountable for their role in the brutal murders of Plaintiffs’ loved ones.
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.
"It may be unthinkable that the chocolate we enjoy could come from the hands of children working as slaves. In the Ivory Coast alone, there are an estimated 200,000 children working the fields, many against their will, to create the chocolate delicacies enjoyed around the world." - CNN, January 16, 2012
"For a decade and a half, the big chocolate makers have promised to end child labor in their industry — and have spent tens of millions of dollars in the effort. But as of the latest estimate, 2.1 million West African children still do the dangerous and physically taxing work of harvesting cocoa. What will it take to fix the problem?" - Brian O'Keefe, Fortune, March 1, 2016
Press Release in John Doe I, et al. v. Nestle USA, Inc., et al.
Contact: Paul Hoffman, Schonbrun Seplow Harris & Hoffman LLP
Terry Collingsworth, Executive Director, International Rights Advocates email@example.com; 202-543-5811/202-255-2198
Catherine Sweetser, Schonbrun Seplow Harris & Hoffman LLP