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Colombian Victims Take on Chiquita for Funding Death Squads

Human rights defenders and families of victims are one step closer to justice for Colombian labor leaders and other activists murdered at the hands of right-wing paramilitaries paid by U.S. banana giant Chiquita Brands as a U.S. court gave the green light Wednesday for the trial to move forward against the company and its top executives.  A Florida federal judge, Kenneth Marra, threw out Chiquita’s arguments that the case should be dealt with in Colombia instead of the United States, where the company is headquartered...[T]he company has never been held accountable for the violence and deaths that terrorized social movements and communities that voiced concern about its labor practices or otherwise challenged the company...The court upheld the view argued by the prosecution that it would be inappropriate for litigation to proceed in Colombia, where ongoing paramilitary violence poses a serious threat to human rights defenders and social activists...The Chiquita lawsuit could set an important precedent for prosecuting other multinational corporations involved in funding political violence...

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