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4 Oct 2006

Duane Stanford, Atlanta Journal-Constitution [USA]

Hit squad lawsuit against Coke bottlers dismissed

A federal judge in Miami has dismissed a lawsuit against two Coca-Cola bottlers in Colombia that alleged they hired paramilitary groups to kill labor union organizers...The judge ordered the clerk of court to close the case, saying the allegations weren't specific enough and the court didn't have jurisdiction. However,...the International Labor Rights Fund, which filed the suit on behalf of workers, [may] appeal the case and potentially drag Coke back in. The labor rights group has accused the company of ignoring 15 years of violence against bottling workers trying to organize in Colombia...Coke denies the allegations, blaming Colombia's violent political climate...[Terry Collingsworth, executive director of ILRF,] said the labor union wasn't allowed to depose witnesses to show Coke did have oversight over such operations.

Part of the following timelines

US judge dismisses lawsuit against Coca-Cola bottlers alleging complicity in killings by paramilitaries in Colombia - plaintiffs may appeal

Coca-Cola lawsuit (re Colombia)