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Thu Jun 26, 2014, 12:47 AM

Mining companies financed paramilitaries in Colombia: report (Drummond Co. from Birmingham, Al.)

Source: Colombia Reports

Mining companies financed paramilitaries in Colombia: report
Jun 25, 2014 posted by Oliver Sheldon

The alleged close relationship between mining companies and paramilitaries in Colombia has been denounced in a recently released report.

Mining companies such as Drummond and Prodeco maintained close relations with paramilitaries and financed the armed struggle of the now-defunct paramilitary organisation, the AUC, against Colombia’s largest guerrilla organisation, the FARC.

The report was based on testimonies of former paramilitary commanders, contractors and former employees of the mining companies, Drummond and Prodeco, and alleges that these companies were complicit in the extreme human rights violations which occurred as a result of the paramilitaries, reported W Radio.

Environmental and human rights organizations presented the report, “The dark side of coal,” denouncing the relationship between the Colombian paramilitaries and Drummond and Prodeco mining companies in Berlin, Germany.

The Dutch organization PAX, commissioned the study, and reported that both Drummond, based in the US, and Prodeco, a subsidiary of a Swiss company, financed the Colombian paramilitaries between 1996 and 2006, in conflict with the guerrillas.


Read more: http://colombiareports.co/mining-companies-financed-paramilitaries-colombia-report/



Previous information posted at DU:

Colombians sue coal firm (Drummond Company based in Birmingham, Ala.)
Edited on Fri May-29-09 05:00 AM by Judi Lynn
Source: Miami Herald

on Friday, 05.29.09
Colombians sue coal firm

Relatives of dozens of slain Colombians have sued a U.S.-based coal company in federal court in Alabama, accusing the firm of making millions of dollars in payments to a paramilitary group that sowed terror in the South American country.

The suit said 67 victims of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, also known as AUC, included labor activists, farmworkers and others. It claimed the right-wing group received payments from operatives for Drummond Co. to assassinate top union leaders and protect the company's coal mine and railroad in Colombia.

A similar lawsuit ended in 2007 with a verdict for Drummond, which has repeatedly denied any connection with the Colombian violence.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/business/story/1070827.html

[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
More:
COAL MINER REPORTEDLY ‘PAID MILLIONS OF DOLLARS' TO AUC
Activists pursue Drummond Coal over Colombian union leader murders

New federal lawsuit again pursues claims U.S. coal miner Drummond paid millions to Colombia Paramilitary Terrorists who murdered 67 Colombians, reportedly executing two union organizers at their mine.

Author: Dorothy Kosich
Posted: Friday , 29 May 2009

RENO, NV -

In spite of a December 2008 jury trial verdict funding that U.S. coal company Drummond and its officers were innocent of any involvement or responsibility for the murders of union leaders in Colombia in 2001, a federal civil lawsuit claims the company "paid millions of dollars to a Colombian paramilitary terrorist group that ...was responsible for the deaths of 67 people."

The Florida law firm of Conrad and Scherer filed the lawsuit on behalf of 252 plaintiffs, who are relatives of 67 victims, including four women. The litigation was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Western Division. Drummond is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.

Former United Self-Defense Forces of Columbia (AUC) head Salvatore Mancuso has testified both in court and before U.S. congressional committees that Drummond Company and its subsidiary Drummond Ltd. "had provided substantial support to the AUC and had paid the AUC to assassinate the top union leaders at the Drummond coal mine in Cesar Province, Colombia."

The lawsuit claims, "Other AUC leaders have stated recently that Drummond provided substantial support to the AUC to provide security and other services to protect the Drummond mine, railroad and other facilities from attacks by the FARC and also to pacify the local population."

A division of the AUC, the Juan Andres Alvarez Front was assigned to protect Drummond rail line. The lawsuit asserts, "From 1999, when Drummond first started providing significant funds to the Juan Andres Alvarez Front to March 2006, when the Colombia government demobilized the AUC's Northern Block, hundreds of people were executed by the Juan Andres Alvarez Front during the course of its ‘security operations' for Drummond.

"These people were murdered solely because Drummond brought the Juan Andes Alvarez Front to the area of the railroad, provided it with substantial financial and other material support, and directed it to clear the area of suspected rebels and guerillas," the lawsuit claims.

More:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x3897610

4 replies, 2756 views

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Reply Mining companies financed paramilitaries in Colombia: report (Drummond Co. from Birmingham, Al.) (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 OP
delrem Jun 2014 #1
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 #2
Android3.14 Jun 2014 #3
enough Jun 2014 #4

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 01:05 AM

1. The only way to stop it is to find a way

to penalize shareholders in overtly fascist companies, not just in this case but all over the world.

But trade agreements promoted and often forced by the US eliminate the possibility of that.
These trade agreements in large part owe their origination to Dems, to Dem administrations, to for-hire Dem lobbyists. Ex-president Bill Clinton made tons of $$ pushing US/Columbia free trade, et voila:

http://www.ustr.gov/uscolombiatpa

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Response to delrem (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 02:14 AM

2. This article shows the difference between the original Plan Colombia former Pres. Pastrana wanted,

and what the hell happened after U.S. interests got control of the damned thing. It would make a maggot gag:

The Environmental Consequences of Plan Columbia
April 25, 2012
By Daniel Graham

[center] Introduction[/center]
Plan Colombia was first proposed by former Colombian President Andrés Pastrana Arango in 1998, and presented officially in 1999.[1] Today, Plan Colombia operates to combat illegal drug trafficking in Colombia and the insurgency of FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) guerillas that frequently support it.[2] In contrast to the final, U.S.-supported version of the plan, Pastrana’s original plan called for a substantial focus on developmental aid and the manual destruction of drug crops, as opposed to the large-scale fumigation measures currently in place.[3] However, after considerable input by the Clinton Administration, Plan Colombia adopted a much stronger emphasis on anti-drug measures (primarily the destruction of coca and poppy fields used to produce cocaine and heroin, respectively) and fortifying Colombian military power against FARC.[4] In fact, the differences between the originally proposed and final versions of Plan Colombia prompted former U.S. ambassador Robert E. White to comment:

If you read the original Plan Colombia, not the one that was written in Washington but the original Plan Colombia, there’s no mention of military drives against the FARC rebels. Quite the contrary. (President Pastrana) says the FARC is part of the history of Colombia and a historical phenomenon, he says, and they must be treated as Colombians.[5]

Unfortunately, Plan Colombia’s use of fumigation on the coca fields of numerous Colombian farmers has led to serious environmental consequences involving the contamination of Colombia’s soil, air, and water supply along with direct adverse health effects for Colombians, causing some critics to question whether the Plan should be allowed to continue.[6]

[center] I. Plan Colombia’s Health and Environmental Effects [/center]

In the mid to late 1970s, the U.S.-backed Colombian government used paraquat herbicide to fumigate marijuana fields; when marijuana production relocated mainly to Mexico, Colombian farmers shifted to coca production.[7] Currently, most aerial fumigations have targeted southern Colombia in areas largely populated by local farmers and peasants, where FARC has gained a strong foothold.[8] The Antinarcotics Directorate of the Colombian National Police (DIRAN) administers the aerial fumigation by spraying herbicides on coca and poppy fields selected by the Colombian government, while “the U.S. Embassy’s NAS Aviation Office supports the DIRAN with technical advice, jet fuel, spray aircraft, armed escort helicopters, and pilots from a [Department of State] contractor.”[9] The U.S. Department of State has asserted that the Colombian government has employed an “independent environmental auditor” to monitor environmental effects of aerial spraying over the last few years, although the Department has never permitted the auditor’s analyses to be made publicly available.[10]

At any rate, the human health consequences of spraying have been extremely serious. More specifically, Colombian physicians in affected areas have observed a substantial increase in respiratory, skin, and gastrointestinal illnesses, ailments which the physicians claim are directly attributable to chemical exposure following spraying.[11] Other health complaints related to spraying have included headaches, dizziness, fever, red eyes, and vomiting.[12] Perhaps predictably, both the Colombian government and the U.S. Department of State have consistently denied any adverse health effects traceable to the fumigations; however, “in August 2001, a commission from a European human rights organization visited the Province of Santanter and concluded, ‘we were able to verify skin conditions (rashes and itching caused by skin drying to the point of cracking) in both children and adults who were exposed directly to spraying while they worked their land or played outside their homes.’”[13] Likewise, in February 2001, the Putumayo Health Department published a study based on the reports of medical staff in three local hospitals indicating an increase in skin, respiratory, digestive, and ocular diseases.[14] However, the detrimental effects of spraying have not been limited to Colombian residents; in fact, “studies have found Ecuadorian communities living near the Colombian border have suffered from the same illnesses as the people in Colombia after the commission of aerial fumigations in the region.”[15] Paradoxically, aerial spraying has also significantly contributed to the destruction of legal crops, with local farmers witnessing the eradication of their banana, corn, and yucca crops.[16] Consequently, this has resulted in thousands of Colombians being forced to abandon their lands, perversely compelling even more farmers to turn to coca production as a means of subsistence.[17]

http://www.ajelp.com/comments/the-environmental-consequences-of-plan-columbia/

[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 03:38 AM PST.
Bush Policy of Spraying Poison on Children

[center][/center]
School children from both Colombia and neighboring Ecuador actually drew these pictures included in this diary. The United States government's primary strategy for combating the narcotics industry and the leftist FARC guerillas that control an area of Colombia the size of SWITERLAND involves aerial crop spraying with a deadly poison sold on the market as Roundup weedkiller. The spray not only kills coca plants, but any other, legal, crops in the vicinity. Sadly it also kills livestock and far worse it has also killed many children.

[center]

~ ~ ~ [/center]
In the name of the "war on drugs" the Colombian people are being subjected to terror in the form of our government spraying deadly poison from airplanes. In August 2000 Congress approved President Bill Clinton's request for $1.3 billion to implement "Plan Colombia," when Bush became president he enthusiastically continued the evil policy. The U.S. involvement has not failed but has added to the violence in a land that has been war-ravaged by approximately 50 years of non stop civil war. Plan Colombia, which President George W. Bush renamed the Andean Regional Initiative, is being sold to the American people as a key component of the failed war on drugs.

More:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/02/27/464886/-Bush-Policy-of-Spraying-Poison-on-Children#

[center] ~ ~ ~ [/center]
This only addresses part of the horrendous destructiveness of these FTAs upon Colombia, and the poor of every other country unfortunate enough to have had their president sign their country up for this monstrosity which benefits only the oligarchs and makes the lives of the poor even so much more painful. What a ####ing crime against the human race.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 06:12 AM

3. What delrem said

 

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 07:08 AM

4. k&r (nt)

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