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31 Aug 2016

Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports

Colombia: Coca-Cola, Chiquita, Drummond & other major companies to face charges in transitional justice tribunal for supporting paramilitary AUC group

"Coca Cola facing terrorism support charges in Colombia", 30 Aug 2016

Multinational beverage producer Coca Cola is one of more than 50 companies that will be charged with financing the now-defunct Colombian paramilitary AUC group, a designated terrorist organization. Several courts will reportedly forward evidence of the involvement of the companies in financing the AUC, which killed many dozens of labor rights defenders during its existence between 1997 and 2006, to a transitional justice tribunal. Among the 57 companies are other major multinationals like Chiquita and Drummond. Colombia’s state-run oil company Ecopetrol, the country’s largest soft-drink producer Postobon and the country’s largest cement company, Cementos Argos are also among the suspected terrorism supporters.  The companies are among a list of 120 companies named by demobilized paramilitaries as financiers of the AUC, which committed more than 130 massacres and displaced millions...While dozens of congressmen have since been sent to jail in what has been called the “parapolitics” scandal, foreign and Colombian businesses who supported the AUC have allegedly been largely left unpunished. The cases against Coca Cola and other suspected terrorism supporters will be brought before a transitional justice tribunal that will take force once a peace deal with the FARC...is signed.