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Hiring Death Squads Is Coming Back to Haunt U.S. Companies

Dole Foods and Chiquita may be on the verge of facing justice for 'pacifying' their work force, suppressing labor unions and terrorizing peasant squatters in Colombia.

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Maybe it's time for Congress to peel away any doubts. Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA), chair of the House Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight, launched an investigation into U.S. multinationals' complicity with human rights violations in Columbia back in 2007 with a hearing in which witnesses testified about a pattern of multinational complicity with Columbian terrorists -- including the Alabama-based Drummond Co., Inc., which allegedly paid members of a Colombian terrorist group to kill three union organizers. (Drummond denies all of the allegations that have been made against the company and its employees by attorneys working for relatives of murdered Drummond employees, even while the Miami Herald reported just days before the hearing that paramilitaries had also come forward to talk in detail about payments Drummond made to the paramilitaries).

Other companies with operations in Columbia that were mentioned at Delahunt's hearing include Occidental, Coca-Cola and ExxonMobil

Attorney General Eric Holder is the nation's top cop, overseeing a department that we are regularly reminded has fighting terrorism (and presumably punishing those Americans who aid and abet it here or abroad) as its top priority - so it's worth asking where the Department's investigation is regarding companies like Dole, which unlike Chiquita won't volunteer any facts, and patently deny any allegations - when there is so much obvious evidence pointing their way.

Charlie Cray is director of the Center for Corporate Policy in Washington, DC.

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