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US Court of Appeals revoke privacy protections to plaintiffs in the case of Chiquita involvement with Colombian paramilitary organization AUC

“11th Circuit OKs unmasking of plaintiffs who accuse Chiquita of funding Colombian terrorists” – 17 July 2020

… Colombians who accuse Chiquita Brands International Inc. of paying paramilitaries who killed their loved ones are not entitled to withhold their identities while litigating a massive class action in South Florida, a federal appeals court has ruled. A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit said the plaintiffs hadn’t demonstrated that revealing their names, addresses, and other personal information would put themselves or their loved ones at risk of reprisal… The plaintiffs are considering asking for a rehearing or appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court… “Lacking specific evidence, the pseudonymous appellants cite general evidence showing that those who oppose paramilitary groups or paramilitary affiliated entities face risks of paramilitary violence… But this evidence does not compel the conclusion that the … plaintiffs face those risks… The court said it had to weigh plaintiffs’ fears against the principle that the courts should operate openly… “We’re not happy with the ruling. We think it puts our clients in danger,” Marco Simons, general counsel of EarthRights International, which represents a number of the plaintiffs, said… “It really does not engage with the reality facing people in Colombia who are challenging paramilitary violence… It could very well be a matter of life and death for our clients.”… The litigation involves allegations that Chiquita paid $1.7 million to the right-wing AUC, known in English as the United Self-Defense Groups of Colombia, during the 1990s and early 2000s — as protection money, the company initially claimed…  thousands of claims remain pending. “This is certainly not over,” Simons said. “The only way this ends in the very near future is if there’s some sort of global settlement.”