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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Article
6 March 2012

Nestlé Test Case: Charges filed on murder of Colombian Trade Unionist

Author: European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

ECCHR and the Colombian trade union SINALTRAINAL yesterday filed charges with the Swiss public prosecutor in Zug against the company Nestlé and members of its senior management. They are accused of being responsible, by failing to take precautionary measures, for the 2005 murder of Luciano Romero. The criminal complaint is a case of legal precedence as it could mark the first time a Swiss company is held liable in Switzerland for a crime committed abroad. Luciano Romero was murdered by paramilitaries on 10 September 2005 in Valledupar in north eastern Colombia. His body was found with 50 stab wounds. For years previously he had worked for the Colombian Nestlé subsidiary company Cicolac. The accused are said to have negligently failed to prevent the crime.

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Lawsuit
27 December 2000

Nestlé lawsuit (re Colombia)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Para la versión en español de este perfil de caso,haga clic acá.

Pour une version française de ce profil, cliquez ici.

On 5 March 2012, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights 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.

- "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:
- 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