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30 Jul 2014

Jonathan Kaufman, Earth Rights International

US decision to dismiss claims against Chiquita "delays Justice for victims of paramilitary violence in Colombia", says Earth Rights Intl.

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"Court sides with Chiquita, Delays Justice for Victims of Paramilitary Violence in Colombia", 25 Jul 2014

...The case in question is…Chiquita…in which the family members of victims of Colombian right-wing paramilitary death squads are suing the banana company for paying and giving logistical support to the murderers…The law at issue…is the Alien Tort Statute...that opens U.S. federal courts to the claims of foreigners who have been harmed by violations of “the law of nations”…that now includes international human rights prohibitions on war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture…The majority opinion…states (erroneously) that there is no statute that allows the federal courts to hear torture suits against corporations when that torture took place abroad…it’s clear that U.S. industry is trying to avoid accountability for its global actions...As Judge Beverly Martin wrote in her dissenting opinion …“By failing to enforce the ATS…I fear we disarm innocents against American corporations that engage in human rights violations abroad.  I understand the ATS to have been deliberately crafted to avoid this regrettable result.”