Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dole sued over links to Colombian death squads

Dole sued over links to Colombian death squads

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Dole Food Company is being sued by the families of 57 people allegedly murdered by paramilitaries hired by the US firm at its banana plantations in Colombia.

A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles alleges that Dole hired the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) despite the fact that the group had been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department.

Lawyers for the families of the murdered people say the AUC was responsible for driving farmers off the land used to plant bananas, purging leftist guerillas from banana-growing regions and targeting union leaders at banana plantations.

Dole hit back at the allegations in the lawsuit, decrying them as "bogus and baseless" in a statement.

The lawsuit accused the company of causing wrongful death, battery, assault, negligent hiring and supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

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