Sunday, June 7, 2009

U.S. Mining Firm Involved in Anti-Union Deaths in Columbia?

Mining firm Drummond Company has denied involvement in the deaths of mining union leaders and others in Columbia.

A civil lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Alabama accuses Drummond of "paying the right-wing United Self Defense Forces of Columbia (AUC) to protect [Drummond's] business interests in the Cesar and Magdalena provinces of Columbia, and to terrorize and murder innocent residents in the region who they perceived as sympathetic to leftist guerrilla groups and supportive of local union organizations," PRNewsWire reported. The suit alleges that in November 2000, Drummond executives ordered the execution of two union leaders -- "guys that were causing problems" at Drummond's mines.

In response, Drummond said on May 29:
"The the latest chapter in an effort by trade unions and their lawyers to falsely blame Drummond...for some of the tragic violence against union leaders and others that plagued Columbia for decades. Similar allegations were made in a lawsuit filed in 2002, and were rejected by an Alabama jury in a judgment that was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals. Drummond [denies] the allegations of this latest lawsuit, and repeat[s] that the and always has been not to provide support to any outlaw groups in Columbia including paramilitaries."

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