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Nuestra misión es trabajar con quienes -desde la sociedad civil, las empresas o los gobiernos- abordan las asimetrías de poder, buscan la remediación por abusos y aseguran la protección de las personas y del planeta.

Tanto las empresas como las comunidades afectadas nos dan las gracias por los recursos y el apoyo que les brindamos, respectivamente.

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Muchas gracias,
Phil Bloomer, Director Ejecutivo

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Daimler lawsuit (re Argentina)

Daimler Nameplate by Andy CPara la versión en español de este perfil de las demandas judiciales, haga clic acá.

Für die deutsche Beschreibung des Falles, klicken Sie hier.

In 2004, 23 Argentinian citizens filed a complaint under the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victims Protection Act against DaimlerChrysler AG (now Daimler) in US federal court in California.  They alleged that one of Daimler’s subsidiaries, Mercedes Benz Argentina, had collaborated with state security forces to kidnap, detain, torture and kill the plaintiffs or their close relatives, who were employees of Mercedes Benz Argentina, during Argentina’s military dictatorship, which ruled from 1976-1983.  In 2005, Daimler filed a motion to dismiss the case for lack of “personal jurisdiction” in California.  Personal jurisdiction requires a certain minimum level of contacts between the defendant and the state in which the suit is filed.  Daimler, headquartered in Germany, argued that it could not be sued in California solely based on the fact that its subsidiary, Mercedes Benz USA, had two offices in the state.

On 22 November 2005, the federal court granted Daimler’s motion to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction, finding that Daimler did not have “continuous and systematic contacts” with Mercedes Benz USA.  The plaintiffs appealed, and the appeals court reversed the lower court’s decision on 18 May 2011, arguing that Daimler was subject to personal jurisdiction in California.  In addition, it argued that Argentinian courts would conclude the plaintiffs waited too long to sue, and that it was unclear whether German courts would consider the plaintiffs' claims.  The case was remanded to the federal court for further proceedings.

In February 2012, Daimler appealed to the US Supreme Court.  On 19 April 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal.  On 14 January 2014, the Supreme Court reversed the federal appeals court decision, and ruled that Daimler did not have enough ties with California for courts to hear the case.

- "U.S. top court curbs human rights claims in Daimler ruling", Lawrence Hurley, Reuters, 14 Jan 2014
- [ES] "La Corte de EE.UU. rechazó un juicio contra Mercedes-Benz por derechos humanos en la Argentina", IECO-Clarín.com, 14 enero 2014
- [FR] "Abus de Mercedes en Argentine: Daimler ne peut être poursuivi aux USA", AFP, 14 janvier 2014
- [ES]  “La Corte de EE.UU. trata la denuncia a Daimler,La Nación, 23 abril 2013
- “Daimler Gets Supreme Court Hearing on Human-Rights Suit”, Greg Stohr, Bloomberg, 22 Apr 2013
- [FR] « La Cour suprême américaine dira si Daimler AG peut être poursuivi  », Agence France-Presse, 22 avril 2013
- [ES] “Juicio civil a Mercedes Benz por favorecer la represión”, Télam, 12 noviembre 2011
- “Daimler Loses Bid for Review of Argentine Rights Case Ruling", Karen Gullo, Bloomberg, 9 Nov 2011
- “Daimler must face Argentina abuse lawsuit in US”, Jonathan Stempel, Reuters, 18 May 2011
- [ES] “Con expertise represivo internacional", Gustavo Veiga, Página 12, 1 diciembre 2009
- “DaimlerChrysler Wins on Human Rights Appeal”, Kate Moser, Law.com, 1 Sep 2009
- [ES] “En EU, juicio contra Mercedes-Benz implicada en la desaparición de obreros durante la dictadura”, Milenio, 22 abril 2008
- “DaimlerChrysler sued over alleged Argentine abuses”, Pablo Bachelet, Global Policy Forum, 14 Jan 2004
- [ES] “Demanda contra gigante automotriz”, BBC Mundo, 15 enero 2004

- European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights:Corporation and Dictatorships

- [PDF] "Daimler AG v. Bauman et al. - Opinion", US Supreme Court, 14 Jan 2014 [opinion reversing US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision]
- [PDF] "Bauman et al. v. DaimlerChrysler Corporation et al. – Order", US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 9 Nov 2011 [order denying petition for rehearing]
- [PDF] “Bauman et al. v. DaimlerChrysler Corporation et al. - Opinion”, US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 18 May 2011 [opinion finding court has personal jurisdiction over defendant]
- [PDF] “Bauman et al v. DaimlerChrysler Corporation et al.- Opinion” US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 28 Aug 2009 (decision later withdrawn) [opinion upholding lower court’s dismissal of case]

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Artículo
1 January 2014

[PDF] Decisión del Tribunal Supremo de los Estados de los Estados Unidos en el caso Daimler AG v Bauman et al: Closing the Golden Door

Autor(a): Francisco Javier Zamora Cabot, La Universitat Jaume I

En 2004, veintidós residentes en Argentina presentaron demanda contra Daimler/Chrysler AG [en]…California…Los demandantes alegaban que Mercedes- Benz Argentina, subsidiaria de [Daimler/Chrysler], había colaborado con las fuerzas de seguridad de [Argentina]…en la detención, tortura, desaparición y muerte de empleados de la planta de la empresa…Tales hechos fundaban sus pretensiones en base al Alien Tort Claims Act…y a la Torture Victim Protection Act…Parece haber…por parte del Tribunal Supremo, una cierta premura…en el sentido de desalentar el que se acuda a los tribunales de los Estados Unidos tratándose… de actividades llevadas a cabo en el extranjero… Las grandes empresas...usan sus complejos entramados...para obviar las regulaciones estatales…y…extender su impunidad …Respaldar esto último no ha podido ser un propósito consciente del Tribunal Supremo en su decisión en Daimler pero...en la práctica es a lo que tal decisión, junto a la de Kiobel, conduce…

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Autor(a): Gwynne Skinner, Robert McCorquodale, Olivier De Schutter & Andie Lambe

The Access to Judicial Remedy (A2JR) Project set out to identify and analyze the barriers in the United States, Canada, and Europe…The detailed mapping exercise undertaken in the development of this Report shows that States are generally not fulfilling their obligation to ensure access to effective judicial remedies to victims of human rights violations by businesses operating outside their territory. Victims continue to face barriers that at times can completely block their access to an effective remedy…These barriers have been overcome in only some instances…Victims of human rights violations by business, wherever the violations occur, are entitled to full and effective access to judicial remedies. In order to provide this, each State should examine the barriers in their jurisdiction and consider the range of actions they can take to alleviate them, and in particular, the recommendations contained in this Report…[Refers to Alstom, Amesys (part of Bull), Anvil Mining (part of China Minmetals), Barrick Gold, Bull, Cambior, Cape PLC, Chevron, Chiquita, Daimler, DLH (Dalhoff Larsen & Horneman), Drummond, ExxonMobil, HudBay Minerals, Monterrico Metals (part of Zijin), Shell, Talisman, Texaco (part of Chevron), Thor Chemicals, Unocal (part of Chevron), Veolia Environnement (formerly Vivendi), Veolia Transport (part of Veolia Environnement), Walmart, Zijin]

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Autor(a): Sudeep Chakravarti, Livemint.com (India)

Strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPP, is one of several retaliatory mechanisms increasingly used against defenders of human rights…The Resource Centre discusses these and other matters and provides a global situation report in its 2013 annual briefing on corporate legal accountability…Its…list of case studies…contains recent and ongoing accusations and legal debates of various kinds of human rights violations…attributed to a total of 52 companies across the world. It is of little surprise that human rights lawyers and activists would get SLAPPed about, as it were, or face the legal weight of businesses that far outweigh their own. The stakes, both in perception and finance, are immense…[T]he briefing adds directional value by flagging issues that it expects will affect this space…This is happening, and will happen, in countries where infractions and crimes are perceived as being committed; and in countries where such businesses are headquartered or invested…[Refers to adidas, Anvil Mining (part of China Minmetals), BASF, China Minmetals, Daimler, Danzer, Dow Chemical, Ford, Lonmin, Shell, Tate & Lyle, Union Carbide (part of Dow), Vedanta Resources, Vinci]

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Autor(a): Katie Redford, EarthRights International

Every day, human rights defenders around the world risk their lives to stand up against injustice…[B]rave individuals everywhere depend on fundamental rights of free speech to do their work. The United States has always celebrated such rights as vital to our democracy…Yet recent trends…have privileged the free speech rights of corporations while silencing the living, breathing human beings that need those rights most… Since Citizens United, which extended First Amendment rights to corporations as “persons”, we’ve seen bold legal arguments against laws and regulations that would hold them accountable to fundamental human rights law…Human rights advocates have always faced an uphill battle, especially when taking on corporate abuse. What is new is the way in which our highest courts are privileging corporations and their rights over those of actual human beings. [refers to Shell, Chevron, Daimler]

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Autor(a): Lawrence Hurley, Reuters

A majority of Supreme Court justices raised doubts on Tuesday over whether Daimler AG can be sued in federal court for allegations that a subsidiary violated the human rights of workers at a plant in Argentina in the 1970s. During an hour-long oral argument, several justices on both sides of the court's ideological divide voiced concerns about how the…9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handled the case when it ruled in favor of human rights plaintiffs, raising the possibility of the case ultimately being sent back to that court for further review. The argument focused on complex legal questions about when federal courts have jurisdiction over certain types of cases.

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Autor(a): AFP, Reuters & Le Monde (France)

La Cour suprême américaine se penche, mardi 15 octobre, sur l'affaire dite Bauman contre DaimlerChrysler pour déterminer si le groupe automobile allemand Daimler AG doit répondre aux Etats-Unis de poursuites contre sa filiale Mercedes, accusée de complicité de violations des droits de l'homme en Argentine…"La question qui se pose aux juges [de la Cour suprême] c'est à quel point ce lien est significatif" pour permettre des poursuites aux Etats-Unis, commente Lyle Denniston, expert de ScotusBlog…Dans son arrêt, la cour d'appel de San Francisco a estimé que "les tribunaux américains ont un grand intérêt à redresser les abus sur les droits internationaux de l'homme". "Quand des entreprises comme DaimlerChrysler…travaillent en tandem avec de violents dictateurs, militaires et même des organisations terroristes, en jouant un rôle dans d'horribles violations de droits de l'homme, elles doivent rendre des comptes", fait valoir…EarthRights International…[Fait aussi référence à Shell]

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Autor(a): AFP

La Cour suprême, présidée par le juge John Roberts, nommé par George W. Bush, ne s'est pas montrée très favorable aux plaintes collectives par le passé: elle a rejeté en 2011 un recours d'1,5 million d'employées se plaignant de discriminations chez le géant américain de la distribution Wal-Mart…[Une] étude, publiée en juin par la Minnesota Law Review, montre que dans le top 10 des juges à se ranger le plus facilement du côté du monde des affaires en 65 ans, figurent cinq juges de l'actuelle Cour suprême…Elle examinera aussi le 15 octobre un litige impliquant le groupe automobile allemand Daimler AG pour des accusations de violations de droits de l'homme contre sa filiale Mercedes en Argentine…

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Autor(a): 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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Autor(a): 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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Artículo
9 September 2013

[PDF] Empresas y Derechos Humanos en América Latina y el Caribe - Panorama sobre los acontecimientos más recientes

Autor(a): 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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