Coca-Cola company along with more than 50 other companies were
accused by Colombian courts of financing terrorism for their ties
to the now-disbanded paramilitary organization, United
Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a fact trade union leaders have
been denouncing for decades.
Coca-Cola Manufacturer Accused of Slave Labor
cases against the companies will be heard in a transitional
justice tribunal after the peace
deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces
of Colombia and the government is signed.
was accused of hiring hitmen from the AUC between 1990 and 2002 to
kill at least 10 labor union leaders who were trying to organize
Coca-Cola’s plants. U.K. oil company BP
has also be taken to court for its funding
of AUC, along with kidnapping and human rights abuses.
Colombia: Inquiry Underway into Businesses That Funded
companies suspected of financing terrorism, commonly referred to
as the “para-economy,” include Colombia’s largest beverage company
Postobon, cement company Cementos Argos, state oil company
Ecopetrol and banana distributor Chiquita Brands International.
Colombian Peace Process Explained
June, families of victims killed by paramilitary groups opened
a federal lawsuit against Chiquitain the U.S. for supporting
the AUC. The company was estimated to have made at least 100
payments to the group worth US$1.7 million between 1997 and 2004.
right-wing AUC coalition, deemed a terrorist organization by the
Colombian government, disbanded in 2006. The paramilitary group
was responsible for a number of massacres, human rights abuses,
kidnappings and extortions that resulted in the displacement of
thousands of Colombians.
politicians and authorities have been sentenced in relation to
links with the AUC, the majority of businesses involved have not
been punished for their illegal financial activities.
and punishment of businesses involved with paramilitary groups
have commonly stuttered over whether payments were voluntary or
not and if companies received any benefits in return.