U.S. coal giant Drummond congratulated members of paramilitary organization AUC on the murder of two labor rights activists working for the Colombian branch of the company, a paramilitary testified Wednesday.
Drummond is involved in a lawsuit filed by victims of paramilitary violence that accuse the coal company of having given money to paramilitary organization AUC between 1999 and 2005, during which 116 civilians were killed in the region where the firm operates.
According to Spanish press agency EFE, the lawyer of one of the bosses of the demobilized AUC, extradited Rodrigo “Jorge 40” Tuvar Pupo, told press that his client admits responsibility for the murder of the unionists in 2001.
A second paramilitary, “Samario,” said in the hearing that two Drummond executives congratulated Jorge 40 and Oscar Jose Ospino, alias “Tolemaida” on the crime in a meeting that took place after the double homicide, Caracol Radio reported.
The two victims, Valmore Locarno Rodriguez and Victor Hugo Orcasita Amaya, were murdered in March 2001 when traveling through the northern Cesar department where the U.S. coal company has operations. Five paramilitaries have already been convicted in Colombia for the murder of Lozano and Orcasita.
Drummond has faced several court cases for their alleged support of the AUC, the paramilitary umbrella group that the U.S. declared a terrorist organization in 2002. Neither the coal company nor its executives have been convicted.