Sanchez and Herrera are among 600 plaintiffs in Collingsworth’s lawsuit, all people who lost family members to the AUC’s reign of terror in towns along the rail line, a campaign that the complaint said was heavily funded by Drummond. Collingsworth says he hopes to win his latest fight by using the testimony of the AUC members who have given depositions under Colombia’s 2005 Justice and Peace Law, which rewards those who confess to their crimes with reduced sentences.

‘Lethal Force’

Alcides Manuel Mattos Tabares, alias Samario, is one who’s talked. In a deposition given in March 2012, he said Drummond Co. paid his AUC unit to provide security along the rail line.

“We used lethal force,” Mattos said in his deposition. “We would just kill anyone who was said to be a guerrilla around those parts.”

In January, Jaime Blanco Maya, who had run a food concession at Drummond Co.’s mines, was convicted in Colombia of arranging for the AUC to kill Drummond union leaders Locarno and Orcasita. He was sentenced to 38 years in prison.

In a 2009 motion to dismiss Collingsworth’s complaint, Drummond Co. denied any link to any of the killings anywhere in Colombia. The company never hired the AUC to do anything, its lawyers said. And in a June 2012 deposition, Garry Neil said he had little to do with the South American operations.

“I was never in charge of anything in Colombia,” he said.

So far, there have been no convictions in Gustavo Soler’s murder, says Nubia, his widow. She supports herself by giving manicures and pedicures in people’s homes. She says that after Garry Neil Drummond reneged on his promise to pay for her kids’ education, she paid for it herself by selling cattle and jewelry.

“It’s 12 years without justice,” she says.

First « 1 2 3 4 5 6 » Next