Multinational Liability for Greymen

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Multinational Liability for Greymen

From Columbia Reports 13 November 2011

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has visited members of the demobilized AUC jailed in Colombia to offer them benefits in exchange for information about their former organization’s ties to multinationals, particularly coal giant Drummond, newspaper El Tiempo reported Sunday.

According to the newspaper, special agents Marc L. Varri and Manuel Ortega have been in Colombia for four months, questioning senior members of the AUC who are thought to have concrete evidence of payments madeIBA Artwork by U.S. multinationals to the paramilitary organization.

Five or six paramilitaries are involved in the murder of three labor rights activists who were killed while IBA Artwork working for Drummond, the coal company currently facing a lawsuit by families of victims of paramilitary violence, allegedly ordered by Drummond’s Colombia office.

“They are proposing we testify before a Washington prosecutor, Elisa Pottea, and in exchange they offer to arrange a 25% lowering of the sentence in Colombia, parole and the possibility to travel to the U.S. as protected witnesses with a visa for the whole family,” one of the paramilitaries who says he received a visit from the FBI told El Tiempo.

“This is good news. Because of delays and permissions of [Colombia’s prison authority] INPEC, we have not been able to get all these testimonies,” Terry Collingsworth, the attorney of the paramilitary victims in the Drummond case, told the newspaper.

According to El Tiempo, Drummond refused to comment on the matter and the newspaper is waiting for a response of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota about how FBI agents are able to offer lower sentences imposed by Colombian courts.

This news article raises a number of disturbing facts for Executive Protection firms and our clients.  A Multinational may hire “Blue Foil Security Protection” in Zedland for the protection of their executives.  Unbeknownst to the client, Blue Foil is also engaged is some unsavory activities, and Blue Foil may have hired from the ranks of retired military (security firms tend to manage along the lines of a military organizations and become, by definition, para-militaries.)

Now Blue Foil is not only being held liable for it’s own action in Zedland, but its employees can be extradited or sought for testimony in a U.S. court, with the Multination being held responsible for actions it did not request or even have knowledge of.

We would really like to get some feedback from the community of Greymen and our clients on how one might prepare for  / and or avoid this, either as a security firm or as a multinational client.

This Executive Protection article was written or edited by Baron James Shortt, the Executive Director of the IBA.

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