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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:28 PM

Uribe admits receiving 'help' from Drummond .

Source: Colombia Reports

Uribe admits receiving 'help' from Drummond .
Monday, 19 November 2012 09:30 Caitlin Trent

Colombia's former President Alvaro Uribe admitted Sunday to receiving "help" from U.S. coal company Drummond while in office.

Although direct payments from Drummond to Uribe's lawyer remain unconfirmed, in an interview Sunday with news broadcast Noticias Uno ex-president Uribe admitted to accepting unspecified "help" from the American coal giant.

The murky ties between Uribe and Drummond came to light two years ago when Uribe was subpoenaed as a witness to Drummond's alleged paramilitary ties with paramilitary organization AUC.

The ex-president however received immunity from testifying last year while being defended by prominent lawyer Gregory Craig whose legal fees are speculated to be paid for by Drummond.

Read more: http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/27068-uribe-receiving-help-from-drummond.html



Drummond paid to kill unionists: Ex-paramilitary .
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 14:00 Mary Cecelia Bittner

A former paramilitary has testified before a U.S. court that coal giant Drummond Ltd. paid paramilitaries $1.5 million to murder union leaders, Colombian media reported Tuesday.

Alcides Mattos Tabares, alias "El Samario," claimed that as part of the Northern Bloc of the AUC he took part in the murdering of employees ordered by Drummond.

Drummond's union president and vice president, Valmore Locarno and Victor Hugo Orcasita, "had" to be killed because they were organizing a strike that would have generated losses for the company, said Tabares.

From 2002 until his 2005 capture, Tabares patrolled Drummond’s railway lines, where he participated in killings, sometimes directed by Drummond employees, he claimed. He spoke of the trade unionists' murder saying,"I was not exactly the shooter, but I participated in the event as 'Tolemaida's' security chief."

More:
http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/22827-drummond-paid-to-kill-unionists-ex-paramilitary.html





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Reply Uribe admits receiving 'help' from Drummond . (Original post)
Judi Lynn Nov 2012 OP
Judi Lynn Nov 2012 #1
Judi Lynn Nov 2012 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:43 PM

1. More on the Alabama-based Drummond Company and its Colombia presence:

~snip~
Conflict in Colombia
In June 2009, a Drummond contractor, Héctor Rafael Pedroza, was killed in a drive-by shooting at a billiards hall in Valledupar (a city in the Cesar province of Colombia). Two other men were killed, including a demobilized paramilitary, Wilman Rafael Torres. The third man killed was Milciades Torres Pacheco. A taxi-driver, Héctor Enrique Zuleta, was injured. The shooters were on motorbikes.

The Drummond Company has been the subject of numerous lawsuits regarding the murders of 70 union miners and railroad workers, collectively. The murdered Colombians were killed by the notorious paramilitary group, United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), which had been hired by Drummond to act as security. In addition to those killed, a lawsuit against Drummond describes "how hundreds of men, women, and children were terrorized in their homes, on their way to and from work… innocent people killed in or near their homes or kidnapped to never to return home, their spouses and children being beaten and tied up, and people being pulled off buses and summarily executed on the spot."

WikiLeaks cables regarding paramilitary forces

According to U.S. diplomatic cables sent between 2006-2010 and released by WikiLeaks, Drummond paid paramilitaries for protection of its Colombian operations. An October 2006 cable said there were significant security improvements in the northeastern region of Colombia where Drummond operates due to private security operations in the area, including roving patrols along the company's railroad from their La Loma mine to the port in Santa Marta. The cable went on to say that these private security guards were former paramilitaries. 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.

A federal Court in Alabama began a civil case against Drummond in 2010 for the alleged paramilitary links, in a case that is still underway. Victims of paramilitary violence in Colombia accuse Drummond of paying the paramilitary organization United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) between 1999 and 2005, during which time 116 civilians were murdered in the region where the coal company operates, allegedly by the right-wing militia. 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 to make way for the company's railroad.

More:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Drummond

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:13 PM

2. More quick looks at Alabama's Drummond Coal in Colombia:

Tragic Death of Trade Union Leader
Justice For Colombia News | on: Sunday, 24 June 2012

Justice for Colombia expresses our deep sadness to learn of the tragic death of trade union leader Raul Sosa. Raul was the President of SINTRAMIENERGETICA – the Colombian Mining and Energy Workers’ Union. He was killed in a car accident on June 21st along with his bodyguard, Munir Cantillo, on their way to meet members at the Drummond Mine.

Several JFC delegations have met Raul during visits to Colombia. He was a respected union leader, leading several historic industrial disputes defending his members against national and multi-national companies. He was also a fierce human rights defender, and on behalf of the union, helped many displaced widows and children of murdered activists. He was also an active member of the Patriotic March political movement.

His death is a tragic loss to the Colombian trade union movement and we send our condolences to his faily and all his trade union brothers and sisters.

http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/1255/Tragic-Death-of-Trade-Union-Leader

~~~~~

Another Worker Dies in Preventable Accident at Drummond Mine in Colombia
News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Funtraenergetica, the Colombian mining and energy workers’ union has reported the death of Winston A. Romero Celedon a 40 year old excavator operator in Drummond’s ‘El Descanso’ mine. According to the union Mr Romero was electrocuted whilst working in an area where he had not been informed there was a risk, and without the right safety equipment.

At least 19 workers have been killed in accidents at Drummond operated mines in recent times, and some 800 have been left with serious injuries, illnesses and other health problems associated to their work. The company still refuses to apply the relevant Health and Safety regulations, and instead moves injured workers to other jobs where they have their pay cut, sometimes by up to half.

In response to Mr Romero’s death workers at the mine downed tools, but were immediately threatened with “grave consequences” by management staff. The workers know that these consequences include being fired, having their pay docked, and other measures routinely applied by the company in its Colombian operations.

More:
http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/1130/Another-Worker-Dies-in-Preventable-Accident-at-Drummond-Mine-in-Colombia

~~~~~

Unionist Survives Assassination Attempt
News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 22 September 2011

Oscar Duque a member of Sintramienergetica, the mining and energy workers' union of Colombia, was boarding a bus to work in a Drummond-owned mine on 19th September when he was the victim of an assassination attempt.

His attackers fired several shots at him but failed to kill him. The CUT is demanding that the government take the necessary actions in order to apprehend the perpetrators and intellectual authors of the crime. The statement notes that the assassination attempt comes days after the company announced a "vastly improved security situation" in the region it operates in.

http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/1095/Unionist-Survives-Assassination-Attempt

~~~~~

Drummond Accused of Killing Trade Unionists, Former Colombian President Uribe Called to Testify
News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 11 November 2010

A paramilitary death squad commander has revealed how executives of the US mining multinational Drummond ‘congratulated’ paramilitary commanders for arranging the assassination of two union leaders at Drummond’s Colombian coal mines. The court room admission, by now jailed paramilitary leader Alcides Mattos Tabares, comes just days after former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe was subpoenaed to testify in a civil case against Alabama-based Drummond for their alleged links to paramilitaries.

Mr Mattos Tabares explained how following the 2001 assassinations of Valmore Locarno and Victor Hugo Orcasita (the President and Vice-President respectively of the trade union representing workers at Drummond), two senior members of the Drummond management team met with the paramilitary commanders responsible for the murders to thank them for a successful operation.

Although one of Drummond’s former contractors in Colombia, Jaime Blanco Maya – the brother of the current Colombian Inspector General Edgardo Maya – has been arrested and charged in connection with the killings, so far no senior Drummond officials have been detained. But human right groups insist that both Gary Drummond, the US owner of the multinational, and Jean Jakim, Drummond’s head of security, were implicated in the murders and point to additional testimony from a former member of the DAS secret police who claims to have seen Drummond’s president in Colombia, Augusto Jimenez, handing over a bag full of cash to notorious paramilitary commander ‘Jorge 40’.

More:
http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/834/Drummond-Accused-of-Killing-Trade-Unionists,-Former-Colombian-President-Uribe-Called-to-Testify

~~~~~

Trade Unionist Working at US Multinational Murdered in Colombia
News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 30 October 2010

A worker for the US multinational mining company Drummond has been assassinated shortly after a large protest against ongoing health and safety breaches by the company. William Tafur, who worked at the Pribbenow Mine, an opencast mine operated by Drummond in the Colombian province of Cesar, left his home on October 26th. When he did not return his wife organized a search and two days later his body was found in the morgue in the nearby city of Santa Marta. He had been shot in the head several times.

“Workers at Drummond have suffered all sorts of repression, harassment and attacks on their lives, as we have documented many times” said Mr Tafur’s union FUNTRAENERGETICA in a statement. “These have included at least eight assassinations, such as those of Valmore Locarno, Victor Orcasita and Gustavo Soler, who were treacherously taken off of a Drummond bus and killed.”

The union also highlighted an incident on May 27th this year in which two assassins on a motorbike approached trade union leader Angel Oswaldo Herrera, who has been closely involved in attempts to negotiate with the company, and threatened to kill him if he did not end his union activities. FUNTRAENERGETICA suspects that the men involved were rightwing paramilitaries and has called for a full investigation into the latest murder and the ongoing threats and for those responsible to be brought to justice.

More:
http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/819/Trade-Unionist-Working-at-US-Multinational-Murdered-in-Colombia

~~~~~

Law Suit Claims US Mining Multinational Financed Colombian Death Squad
News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The US mining multinational Drummond has denied claims in a lawsuit that it funded a rightwing paramilitary death squad in Colombia to assassinate trade unionists and others that the company saw as troublesome on the northwest Colombian region where the corporation operates. The lawsuit, which was filed on May 28th in Birmingham, Alabama, where the company is headquartered, has been filed on behalf of the families of 67 trade unionists and other residents of the region who were murdered by the death squad.

Drummond's Colombia operations include the largest opencast coal mine in the world, a railroad for moving coal to the coast as well as port facilities. The suit alleges that millions of dollars were paid by the company to the paramilitaries to protect their interests and follows another filed in March this year filed by the children of three union leaders who they claim were killed by the same death squad at the behest of Drummond.

For previous news about Drummond on this site see Police Repression Forces Striking Workers Back to Work which also links to previous articles.

http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/750/Law-Suit-Claims-US-Mining-Multinational-Financed-Colombian-Death-Squad

ETC.

~~~~~

Drummond established a hideous record of disregard for American citizens in Alabama before opening operations in Colombia which have allowed them far greater power over the lives of workers and their loved ones.

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