The petition to the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor was brought by the International Human Rights Clinic of Harvard Law School, the International Federation for Human Rights, and the Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo, a Colombian human rights organization, and was made public today at a press conference in Bogotá, Colombia.
The Archive provided more than 48,000 pages of internal Chiquita records to the ICC as part of the communication, including financial records, legal memoranda, handwritten notes, and the secret, sworn testimony of company officials that help to identify individuals at Chiquita who steered millions of dollars in “sensitive payments” to Colombian insurgent groups, government security forces, and right-wing paramilitary militias.
The ICC action comes at an important moment, just as Colombia begins to implement a historic peace agreement ending more than 50 years of conflict with rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In February, the Colombian prosecutor general ruled that the “voluntary financing” of paramilitary and insurgent groups by corporations like Chiquita should be investigated as crimes against humanity by a special tribunal established by the accord.
The communication asks the ICC “to monitor local Colombian proceedings to ensure they meet ICC standards, particularly with regards to private sector support for the paramilitaries and business’ accountability,” according to today’s press release...