Nestlé lawsuit (re Colombia)

Luciano Romero, Credit - Rebelion.orgPara la versión en español de este perfil de las demandas judiciales contra Nestlé por actividades en Colombia, haga clic acá.

Pour une version française de ce profil, cliquez ici.

On 5 March 2012, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and Colombian trade union Sinaltrainal filed a criminal complaint against Nestlé and its senior management with the public prosecutor in Zug, Switzerland.  The complaint alleged that Nestlé was complicit in the murder of trade unionist Luciano Romero, a former employee of Nestlé’s Colombian subsidiary, Cicolac, for failing to take precautionary measures to prevent the murder.  Romero was murdered in Colombia by paramilitaries in 2005.  The complaint claimed that Romero began receiving death threats after Cicolac falsely branded him a guerilla fighter.  Nestlé denied these  allegations.

The public prosecutor assessed the complaint to determine whether the allegations were actionable under Swiss criminal law.  In May 2013 the prosecutor's office dismissed the complaint because it was filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations.  The plaintiffs have appealed the dismissal.  On 21st July 2014, Switzerland's highest court rejected the appeal and confirmed that the statute of limitations had been exceeded in the case.

In December 2014, ECCHR filed a complaint against Switzerland, on behalf of Luciano Romero's widow, before the European Court of Human Rights. In May 2015, the Court dismissed this complaint, exhausting all legal avenues in Europe. However, the Romero case is also part of a criminal complaint before the International Criminal Court on the systematic persecution of trade unionists in Colombia. This procedure is still on-going.

- "Swiss court clears Nestlé in Colombia widow case", 2 Aug 2014
- "Swiss prosecutors close Colombian widow's case against Nestle", AFP, 2 May 2013
- “Complaint against Nestlé over Colombian death”, Swissinfo.ch, 6 Mar 2012

Nestlé:
Letter to Colombian Trade Union, 16 Mar 2012
- [DOC] Nestlé response re suit alleging its complicity in murder of Colombian trade unionist, 7 Mar 2012

European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights:
Swiss Judiciary declines access to justice, 1 Aug 2014
- Nestlé Test Case: Charges filed on murder of Colombian Trade Unionist, 6 Mar 2012
- [ES] Caso Nestlé: Querella por Homicidio de un sindicalista colombiano, 6 marzo 2012

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Author: solidaritéS, Attac Suisse, groupe suisse de rencontres pour la Paix en Colombie

Javier Correa, président du syndicat Sinaltrainal rendra compte de la situation actuelle de persécution des syndicalistes en Colombie, en particulier dans les usines de Nestlé. Wolfgang Kaleck précisera les conséquences qu’à la procédure transnationale sur le procès en Colombie. Marcel Bosonnet, qui représente la veuve de Luciano Romero, fera part de l’état actuel de la procédure contre Nestlé en Suisse. Mercredi 4 décembre, 19 h 30, Centre Universitaire Catholique, 3 boulevard de Grancy, Lausanne.

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Author: Sinaltrainal (Colombia)

Por invitación de Ministro de Trabajo…comisiones de Nestlé de Colombia S.A., de Sinaltrainal y un delegado de la entidad gubernamental, nos reunimos…para acordar la metodología que nos permitirá avanzar en la discusión de los puntos que generaron la huelga de hambre: Reconocimiento sindical, temas convencionales, calidad de los productos, seguridad y propuesta de reparación integral…Durante las conversaciones estará presente el Presidente de la compañía, Sr. Manuel Andrés Kornprobst…[Les] pedimos…estar muy vigilantes del desarrollo de las conversaciones y especialmente para que salga a la luz y se condene a los responsables de la violencia que enluta a Sinaltrainal y a un sector importante del movimiento sindical global…[por el asesinato de] Oscar López Triviño…

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Article
19 September 2013

[PDF] Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin – Issue 10, Sep 2013

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Welcome to the 10th issue of the Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin. To assist all those following corporate legal accountability issues, we send this bulletin to highlight key developments, new cases profiled on our site, updates to existing profiles, and other news. Our Corporate Legal Accountability Portal is an online information hub providing resources for non-lawyers as well as lawyers – including victims, advocates, NGOs, businesspeople, lawyers bringing lawsuits against companies and lawyers defending companies. The portal provides impartial, concise information about lawsuits against companies in which human rights abuses are alleged – its aim is to demystify these lawsuits. Each case profile includes materials from both the plaintiffs and defendants, to the extent they are available…This bulletin is now available in Spanish and French. [Refers to African Barrick Gold, Alstom, BP, CACI, Chevron, Coca-Cola, COMILOG (part of ERAMET), Daimler, Danzer, Dow Chemical, Drummond, ERAMET, Ford, HudBay Minerals, IBM, KBR, Ledesma, Mercedes-Benz (part of Daimler), Monterrico Metals, Nestlé, PA Child Care, Qosmos, Rio Tinto, Shell, Sinter Metal, SNCF, Texaco (part of Chevron), Thomson Safaris, Total, Union Carbide (part of Dow), Vedanta Resources, Veolia (part of Veolia Environnement), Veolia Environnement, Walmart]

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Article
9 September 2013

[PDF] Business & human rights in Latin America & the Caribbean – A round-up of recent developments

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

This briefing highlights reports from a range of sources about how businesses have impacted human rights, positively and negatively, in Latin America & the Caribbean over the past two years. The briefing refers to most countries in Latin America. Amanda Romero, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre’s Latin America & the Caribbean Researcher based in Colombia and Julia Neiva, Brazil and Portuguese-speaking countries Researcher and Representative based in Brazil, provide our coverage of these countries. This is not a comprehensive overview. It flags some major issues, cases, developments and trends. For more details see our website, with sections on over 190 countries, more than 5000 companies, and 150 issues.

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Author: Centro de Información sobre Empresas y Derechos Humanos

Este informe destaca los reportes de un variado rango de fuentes sobre los impactos (negativos y positivos) de las empresas sobre los derechos humanos en América Latina y el Caribe, en los dos últimos años. El informe hace referencia a la mayoría de países de América Latina. Amanda Romero, investigadora y representante para América Latina y el Caribe, con sede en Colombia, y Julia Neiva, investigadora y representante para Brasil y los países de habla portuguesa, con sede en Brasil, del Centro de Información sobre Empresas y Derechos Humanos, hacen un cubrimiento de estos países. El presente informe no es exhaustivo, pero sí destaca algunos de los asuntos, casos, iniciativas y tendencias más importantes. Para mayores detalles, visite nuestro sitio web, en donde encontrará información sobre más de 190 países, más de 5.000 empresas, y 150 temas.

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Article
10 May 2013

Nestlé has nothing to fear from Swiss legal system

Author: European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

Fourteen months after receiving a criminal complaint, the office of public prosecution in the Swiss Canton of Waadt decided on 1 May 2013 not to investigate whether Nestlé and its managers were liable for negligently contributing to the death of Colombian Nestlé trade unionist Luciano Romero. In March 2012 ECCHR together with Colombian partner organizations lodged a complaint with the prosecution in the…Canton of Zug, who failed to initiate an investigation and instead handed the proceedings over to the Canton of Waadt. Rather than promptly beginning an investigation, the prosecution in Waadt made use of various formalities to delay the proceedings until they could declare that the matter had become time-barred. The victim’s widow…will appeal the decision. [Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Nestlé to respond – response provided]

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Article
2 May 2013

Swiss prosecutors close Colombian widow's case against Nestle

Author: AFP

Swiss prosecutors…closed a lawsuit by a Colombian woman accusing Swiss food giant Nestle of indirect responsibility for the murder of her union-worker husband. The woman had filed her suit on March 5, 2012, charging that Nestle and its leadership were indirectly responsible for the murder of her husband, Luciano Romero, in September 2005 by paramilitary forces in Valledupar, Colombia. Romero, a trade unionist who had long worked for Cicolac, a subsidiary of Nestle in Colombia, had left the company several years before he was killed…Franz Moos, the deputy prosecutor in the canton, told AFP that the statute of limitation for such cases was seven years, and that the period in this case had therefore ended last September.

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1 April 2013

[PDF] Enforcing Human Rights Law by New Means

Author: European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

[The third part of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights’ annual report focuses on “Impunity in Colombia: Persecution of Trade Unionists and the Responsibility of Transnational Corporations”, and the fourth part addresses “Business and Human Rights: Human Rights Due Diligence for Corporations”. Refers to Chiquita, Nestlé]

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Article
5 February 2013

[PDF] Corporate Legal Accountability Bulletin - Issue 8

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

[Full text of February 2013 issue of the Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin. Refers to lawsuits against Amesys (part of Bull), Anvil Mining (part of China Minmetals), BP, Chevron, Nestlé, Qosmos, Shell, Texaco (part of Chevron), Transocean]

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Article
6 March 2012

Murder of a union member- a complaint against Nestlé

Author: Basler Zeitung [Switzerland]

[Unofficial translation from the German original by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre] [H]uman rights advocates accuse the food group of being complicit in the violent death of a trade unionist in Colombia. A Berlin-based legal group has filed a criminal complaint with the Prosecutor against...Nestlé...and several of its managers...They are accused of being responsible for the murder of a Colombian trade unionist. The move to hold Nestlé accountable comes approximately six and a half years after the murder of trade unionist Luciano Romero by paramilitaries in Valledupar, northeastern Colombia...In the complaint the suspects are accused of having caused the death of the trade unionist by failing to take protective steps...Nestle denies all allegations in connection with the murder of Romero and will "vigorously defend its self," the company said. SINALTRAINAL and ECCHR have no evidence to support the allegations.

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