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5 Dec 2016

Katie Redford, EarthRights International on Huffington Post (USA)

What Happens In Colombia Doesn’t Stay In Colombia

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Federal judge tells Chiquita it must face human rights allegations in the U.S. After years of litigating against Chiquita on behalf of Colombian villagers terrorized by Chiquita-sponsored death squads, a federal judge denied the company’s latest attempt to get rid of our case and escape justice. We will now be moving forward with discovery, to trial, and (we expect) to justice for our clients.  The legal decision is important for the farmers, workers and labor organizers who endured killings, disappearances and violence without remedy, and for those of us who have worked so hard supporting them.  Chiquita has thrown one obstacle after another in our way in order to avoid facing these villagers in court. Most recently, the banana giant argued that the case should be heard in Colombia...[T]his case sends a clear message that companies cannot escape justice in the United States by forcing victims and survivors to litigate in countries where those defenders are threatened. The judge discussed the grave and dangerous context in which human rights and environmental defenders do their work in Colombia, and cited these risks as a key factor in his determination to allow the case to proceed in the U.S...

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US judge allows lawsuit against Chiquita for allegedly funding Colombian paramilitaries to move forward

Intl. Human Rights Defenders Day: Role of business in protecting civic freedoms & human rights defenders