The Supreme Court is set to hear a petition for review of the case Cardona v. Chiquita Brands International, a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of about 4000 victims of state-sponsored terrorism in Colombia. The families of the victims claim that Chiquita was complicit in the deaths of thousands of Colombians because it paid millions of dollars to a paramilitary group known as the AUC, the Spanish acronym for United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. Chiquita has already pleaded guilty to making the payments to the terrorist organization but it has not paid any compensation to the victims. Now, the Supreme Court justices will have to decide whether to hear the latest case, which would test the scope of a statute known as the Alien Tort Statute. It’s an anti -piracy law that has been applied to cases as a way to enforce international human rights. It remains unclear whether the law could hold corporations responsible for human rights abuses that do not occur in the U.S. Journalist Steven Cohen wrote about the case in recent article for the New Republic. He joins us to discuss the case and its potential implications for international human rights.
PHOTO: (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)