A U.S. court has allowed three Colombian former paramilitaries to testify against Alabama-based coal company Drummond for the company’s alleged links to paramilitary organization AUC, Noticias Uno reported Tuesday.
The ex-paramilitaries, who were part of the paramilitary organization’s Northern Bloc under the command of alias “Jorge 40,” are due to appear in court next week after the Alabama court allowed their appearance.
The former paramilitaries claim the AUC ordered the assassination of at least 600 people between 1995 and 2005 in the northern department of Cesar for the benefit of Drummond.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama ordered that the former paramilitaries alias “Bam Bam,” “El tigre,” “El samario,” and Jesus Charris are to give testimony before representatives of the victims who claim that the multinational is responsible for the 600 murders.
Drummond allegedly ordered the assassination of rural dwellers who chose not to sell their land to make way for the company’s railroad which transported carbon from the land-locked Cesar department to the Caribbean Sea.
Drummond is facing two lawsuits in the United States, one for the death of three trade unionists in 2002 and the other for the death of 18 rural dwellers in Cesar.
A diplomatic cable from 2006 released by WikiLeaks n March 2011 states that Drummond paid paramilitaries for protection.