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Excerpt: "U.S.-based Coca-Cola company along with more than 50 other companies were accused by Colombian courts of financing terrorism for their ties to the now-disbanded paramilitary organization, United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a fact trade union leaders have been denouncing for decades."

Police gather near a protest against Coca-Cola in Columbia. (photo: GreenPeace)
Police gather near a protest against Coca-Cola in Columbia. (photo: GreenPeace)


Coca-Cola Accused of Funding Colombian Death Squad

By teleSUR

02 September 16

 

Coca-Cola was accused of hiring hitmen from a prominent paramilitary group between 1990 and 2002 to kill at least 10 trade union leaders.

.S.-based Coca-Cola company along with more than 50 other companies were accused by Colombian courts of financing terrorism for their ties to the now-disbanded paramilitary organization, United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a fact trade union leaders have been denouncing for decades.

The cases against the companies will be heard in a transitional justice tribunal after the peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the government is signed.

Coca-Cola was accused of hiring hitmen from the AUC between 1990 and 2002 to kill at least 10 labor union leaders who were trying to organize Coca-Cola’s plants. U.K. oil company BP has also be taken to court for its funding of AUC, along with kidnapping and human rights abuses.

Other companies suspected of financing terrorism, commonly referred to as the “para-economy,” include Colombia’s largest beverage company Postobon, cement company Cementos Argos, state oil company Ecopetrol and banana distributor Chiquita Brands International.

In June, families of victims killed by paramilitary groups opened a federal lawsuit against Chiquita in the U.S. for supporting the AUC. The company was estimated to have made at least 100 payments to the group worth US$1.7 million between 1997 and 2004.

The right-wing AUC coalition, deemed a terrorist organization by the Colombian government, disbanded in 2006. The paramilitary group was responsible for a number of massacres, human rights abuses, kidnappings and extortions that resulted in the displacement of thousands of Colombians.

Some politicians and authorities have been sentenced in relation to links with the AUC, the majority of businesses involved have not been punished for their illegal financial activities.

Investigations and punishment of businesses involved with paramilitary groups have commonly stuttered over whether payments were voluntary or not and if companies received any benefits in return.


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+6 # Caliban 2016-09-02 10:06
Violent death -- "The Pause that Refreshes"
 
 
+6 # dotlady 2016-09-02 10:13
Not to mention Occidental's mercenary security force that killed many others who protested drilling.
 
 
+6 # Texas Aggie 2016-09-02 10:56
If the AUC has disbanded, it's only to take a new name. Union activists are still being killed, peasants are still being driven from their land or killed when they try to return, and left wing politicians and students are still disappearing. This is what Hillary is planning for all of Latin America by advocating the extension of Plan Columbia to the rest of Latin America.
 
 
+5 # reiverpacific 2016-09-02 11:05
I know for sure that Chiquita did this.
I worked for them as a construction consultant in Columbia, Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica until I stumbled across this fact and got out -but not after having a smear campaign started, trying to set me up with some 12 year old girls and eventually having my own life threatened.
The CEO of their Ecuadorian joint-venture partner Raybanpak, now "Favorito Banana", was one of the most cynically evil people I've ever met and I was required to be sociable with he and his equally evil partner. This is about as close as I'll ever get to wanting to murder anybody.
Sometimes I startle shoppers in our local grocery by saying "Don't buy Chiquita; they----!!!!!!) .
 

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