Colombia: US coal giant paid death squad for protection

US coal giant Drummond paid right-wing paramilitaries accused of murder and human rights abuses for protection of its Colombian operations, Colombiareports.com said on March 16.

The article said the information was revealed in secret diplomatic cables sent between 2006-2010 released by WikiLeaks to the Colombian paper El Espectador,

Colombiareports.com said: “Over the course of four years U.S. Embassy officials sent 15 diplomatic cables to Washington which expressed concern over the company’s labor disputes, lax environmental practices and apparent links with paramilitary death squads.”

Drummond is in the middle of a court case in the US over allegations it has links with right-wing paramilitaries.

“Victims of paramilitary violence in Colombia accuse Drummond of having paid the right-wing death squad AUC between 1999 and 2005,” the article said.

During this time 116 civilians were allegedly murdered by the AUC in the region where Drummond operates.

ColombiaReports.com said: “The civil case also seeks compensation for the relatives of several people who were murdered, which they claim was for refusing to sell their land to make way for the company's railroad.”

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.