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US Court decision to dismiss lawsuit against Chiquita shows difficulties faced by victims to hold corporations accountable for human rights abuses abroad, says academic

Author: Lauren Carasik, Western New England University School of Law, in Al Jazeera America, Published on: 8 August 2014

"The uphill battle to hold US corporations accountable for abuses abroad", 8 Aug 2014 

...[T]he Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit dismissed a lawsuit against...Chiquita by 4,000 victims of...violence during Colombia’s...civil war...The court found that though Chiquita executives in Ohio did make illegal payments to the AUC, the case did not “touch and concern” the U.S...Judge...Martin [dissenting opinion]...wrote, “we disarm innocents against American corporations that engage in human rights violations abroad”...[T]he case highlights a glaring gap in the international framework...and underscores the importance of developing mechanisms to ensure that victims have access to judicial remedies...[They] face...prohibitive costs of litigation across borders, statutes of limitations and corporate structures that are built on legally distinct entities and insulate companies from liability...[T]he issue is a marked power imbalance: Big companies employ their considerable resources to shield themselves and impose double standards that serve their interests. They invoke the protections of international law when it suits them…Yet they aggressively resist efforts to impose accountability across borders…

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Related companies: Chiquita