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5 Apr 2004

International Labor Rights Fund

Labor Rights Fund Hails Progress in Alien Tort Claims Act Suit Against Occidental Petroleum

A human rights case against Occidental Petroleum on behalf of Colombian villagers killed in an aerial bombing raid in 1998 overcame a major impediment last week thanks to a memo from the US State Department. The suit, Galvis Mujica v. Occidental Petroleum, filed by the Washington, DC-based International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) on April 23, 2003 in US District Court in Los Angeles under the Alien Tort Claims Act, cites Occidental Petroleum for its role in the bombing of the village of Santo Domingo that killed seventeen residents and wounded others. Last week, on March 30th, the State Department’s Acting Legal Adviser...indicated that he had no foreign policy objections to the lawsuit’s proceeding. [also refers to Airscan, Rio Tinto]