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.
Spanish speaking readers: Noticias Uno Colombia video report
Recent court filings against Drummond (C 2:09-cv-01041-RDP) indicate the legal team representing the company is being less than cooperative: exceeding production deadlines by months, pushing for a faster trial without the plaintiff's attorneys having all the needed evidence in hand, and blaming the other side for their own by design difficulties.
Depositions of the paramilitary witnesses against Drummond were set to proceed in September before the Colombian officials delayed. The next tentatively scheduled deposition dates, that must occur in Colombia, are in November 2011. Time is of the essence according to one of the plaintiff's lawyers in this sharply worded passage from the court records:
"It is simply not an option to wait a year or more for the letters rogatory process to advance when our key witnesses are being threatened, attacked and offered bribes to, in Duarte's (aka "Bam Bam") words, "Keep quiet about Drummond."
--Libardo Duarte was attacked in prison shortly after he made public statements to a television reporter about Drummond's relationship to the Colombian paramilitary unit AUC.
--"El tigre" has hidden his family away in Colombia after receiving repeated threats from would-be sympathizers of the AUC (and possibly Drummond) that they would "kill them all" if he testified against Drummond.
Details from the witnesses in the court documents describe events so evil and cold-blooded, we can't begin to fully describe it in detail at this time, but you can read it for yourself, and then decide what conclusions you may arrive to after viewing the recent activity in this case.
In our opinions, any further delay, particularly if it is a purposeful maneuver, to impede obtaining crucial testimony of these witnesses, who have first-hand knowledge about what really happened in Colombia, is a tactic of ominous intentions.