US Dole corporation accused of hiring death squads

This video from the USA says about itself:

This interview was done in Colombia in November 2006 by the US Labor Education in the Americas Project. Gloria works on a plantation outside of Bogota which produces flowers for Dole.

From British daily The Morning Star:

US firm charged over death squads

Wednesday 29 April 2009

THE relatives of Colombians said to have been slain by a right-wing death squad have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles which asserts that US corporation Dole bankrolled the militia.

The claimants are relatives of 51 men allegedly murdered by the notorious United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia, or AUC.

The victims were either involved in trade union organising or were small farmers fighting attempts by Dole to obtain their land to plant bananas, the suit claims.

In a statement, Dole said on Tuesday that it “categorically rejects the baseless allegations accusing the company of illegal activity in Colombia.”

But the claimants’ lawyer Terry Collingsworth claimed that Dole bosses made a total of about $10 million (£6.8m) in regular payments from 1997-2007 to local AUC commanders in order to “keep unions out of Dole’s banana plantations by murdering effective union leaders and using terror tactics to discourage workers from joining.”

Mr Collingsworth, who is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages from Dole, declared that the transnational acted “with malice and oppression.”

A key witness for the claimants is jailed AUC commander Jose Gregorio Mangones, who demobilised as part of a peace deal with Colombia’s government and who has admitted to more than half the killings cited in the suit.

At least three other former senior AUC commanders have said that foreign banana companies operating in Colombia, including Dole and Chiquita, made regular payments to their militias.

The four commanders have confessed to ordering several thousand murders and specifically targeting union organisers and people allegedly sympathetic to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Chiquita was ordered to pay a $25m (£16.9m) fine by the US Justice Department after admitting to making regular payments to the AUC, which the State Department designated as a foreign terrorist organisation in September 2001.

Mr Collingsworth, who also represents claimants in the Florida court case against Chiquita, said that the claimants in the Dole case have asked to remain anonymous under pseudonyms because right-wing death squads continue to operate where they live.

Mr Collingsworth went on to say that the claimants would prove that Dole’s managers in the region were not “innocent bystanders paying extortion” but rather active partners in a “bloody conspiracy” to keep wage costs down.

Meanwhile, Colombia’s domestic intelligence agency has fired another 11 people in a scandal over illegal eavesdropping of judges, journalists and politicians.

That brings to 33 the total number of people dismissed from the Department of Administrative Security, which reports directly to President Alvaro Uribe, since the scandal broke in February.

Uribe ‘playing politics’ over hostages: here.

The Dark Side of Plan Colombia: How the U.S. is Subsidizing Death and Drug Trafficking on Stolen Lands: here.

7 thoughts on “US Dole corporation accused of hiring death squads

  1. I clicked a link for KKK and bought me here? so I will put this here then
    I am having a problem with the Klan
    Here in Georgia and they just do what ever they want and flaunt it
    I have reported it I have called these watchdog groups
    I even called the justice department in DC cause my courts will not help
    The lady in DC goes and says “how can we help you
    you are in Georgia we are in DC You should call social services”..
    The watchdog groups are watching what???
    and our government is putting people in government that are more moronic than the last republicans
    Yeah Obama (big republican pretending to be a democrat) he worked for the
    Klan sutter and hopkins (now Foley and Lardner) a southern law firm in DC who gained fame thru its cliental southern banks such as wachovia, suntrust etc, and one of its partners who was chief counsel of the Irs and with the treasury department and task force on organized crime
    all under Nixon he even fed nixon info from the irs treasury and task force Nixons bug in the white house was this person
    (find this info in a book called power to destroy by john andrews)
    you’ll find him The bug I call him in Brunswick Georgia with the rest of the civil war round table which he is a high member
    glynn county and camden county Ga also atlanta then savannah Ga Jacksonville Fla
    the klan is not slowly withering away it is alive and well here in Georgia’s and floridas government (Florida is where a lot of confeds ran when the Yanks came, and then created there KKK) and its people
    also members of our federal government
    Why do you think you cannot get cases into court in a timely manner why do you think it takes so long and they only give a certain amount of time to get your case to them here read this Klan trick straight from our government
    ATLANTA, GEORGIA, April 7, 2009 – The right to counsel – the most basic protection against unlawful imprisonment and the most fundamental constitutional right, upon which the enforcement of every other right in the criminal justice system depends – is being systematically denied to poor people accused of crimes in the five counties of the Northern Judicial Circuit of northeast Georgia.

    Approximately 300 people are currently without lawyers to represent them after Mack Crawford, Director of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council (“GPDSC”), in August of 2008, failed to renew contracts with three lawyers who were providing representation to defendants whose interests conflicted with those of defendants represented by the Northern Judicial Circuit public defender office.
    The Klan motto which is adopted by our law enforcement and judicial system and politicians is
    even if they did not do it get them just as long as you make the community feel safe thats what counts..
    You know what this means right
    This is the Klan showing off
    America is no more


  2. Hi TedIV, which link brought you to this blog item? There are other items on this blog, which are really on the KKK. Please use the search option on the blog with KKK or Klux etc.


  3. Uribe must wait for referendum

    COLOMBIA: The Senate has delayed a vote on scheduling a referendum that could let right-wing President Alvaro Uribe seek a third term.

    MPs had been expected to vote on Wednesday, but the body postponed consideration of the measure until May 19 for lack of quorum.

    Mr Uribe’s presidency has been rocked by alleged army killings of over 1,600 civilians, a collapsed pyramid scheme, a wiretap scandal and allegations his two 20-something sons may have benefited inappropriately from a land investment.


  4. Pingback: Colombia, deathly country for trade unionists | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Uribe’s soldiers murder Colombian civilians | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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