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Statement Regarding the Colombian Attorney General’s Failure to Investigate Drummond’s Financing of the AUC

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 09:50 -- admin

September 15, 2018
Statement Regarding the Colombian Attorney General’s Failure to Investigate Drummond’s Financing of the AUC


Contact: Terry Collingsworth, Executive Director
tc@iradvocates.org 1-202-543-5911 www.IRAdvocates.org


International Rights Advocates (IRA) represents over 690 Colombian nationals in several cases filed in the United States against the American coal company, Drummond Company Inc., concerning the company’s financing of AUC paramilitaries in Colombia that killed the family members of these innocent people. The evidence that Drummond not only financed the AUC, but directly collaborated with this terrorist organization, is overwhelming. The IRA and many other independent investigators have provided the Attorney General of Colombia with substantial evidence of Drummond’s close relationship with the AUC. Some of this evidence was presented at the criminal trials of two former Drummond contractors, Jamie Blanco Maya and Jairo Jesus Charris Castro, for their roles in the murder of Drummond’s union leaders. In both cases, the presiding judge, William Andrés Castiblanco Castellanos, specifically ordered prosecutors to investigate the role of Drummond officials in the murder of the union leaders. The order was based on the strong evidence presented at the trials of Drummond’s financing of the AUC. No serious investigation was conducted by the prosecutors in those cases.


In the last year, Colombian Special Prosecutor No. 247 reviewed the existing evidence and spent most of a year conducting a fresh and independent investigation of Drummond’s financing of the AUC. Based on this preliminary investigation, Prosecutor No. 247 recommended on May 14, 2018 that the Attorney General, Néstor Humberto Martínez, open a formal investigation of Drummond’s role in financing the AUC. This decisión must be approved by the Transitional and Delegate Justice Directorate Against Organized Crime. To date, neither the committee nor the Attorney General has taken action on Prosecutor No. 247’s recommendation to bring Drummond to justice.


Attorney General Néstor Humberto Martínez recently announced a formal criminal process against another American company, Chiquita Banana, for financing the AUC based on evidence that is equivalent to the evidence against Drummond. The only difference between the two companies is that Drummond and its counsel, Jaime Bernal Cuellar, continue to have strong influence within the Colombian government. The only reasonable conclusion based on this situation is that Drummond is using its influence to block a fair investigation of its role in financing the AUC. We want the Attorney General, Néstor Humberto Martínez, to respond. What is the reason there has been no action taken to simply order a formal investigation against the multinational Drummond?


IRA is calling on all persons concerned with justice in Colombia to contact Attorney General Néstor Humberto Martínez and demand that a fair and independent investigation of Drummond’s role in financing the AUC be permitted to go forward. The Attorney General should not continue to ignore the fundamental rights of the victims of Drummond's collaboration with the AUC to have access to truth, justice, and reparations. He can be contacted at:
Attorney General Néstor Humberto Martínez
Diagonal 22B No. 52-01 Bogotá, Colombia Email: contacto@fiscalia.gov.co; denuncie@fiscalia.gov.co; despacho.fiscal@fiscalia.gov.co


In addition, please contact the Solicitor General and demand that he exercise his Constitutional power to determine whether there has been improper influence applied by Drummond on the Attorney General to block an investigation:
Fernando Carrillo Flórez
Solicitor General for the Republic of Colombia
Carrera 5a, No. 15-60
Bogotá, D.C., Colombia 110321
quejas@procuraduria.gov.co