DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. REJECTS BOGUS CLAIMS MADE IN COLUMBIAN LAWSUIT
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif - April 29, 2009
Dole Food Company, Inc. categorically rejects the baseless allegations made in a lawsuit filed yesterday in Los Angeles County Superior Court accusing the company of illegal activity in Colombia. These recycled claims are as false today as they were when first lodged in 2007 and are the product of the most untrustworthy sources imaginable.
The allegations in the complaint are based on nothing more than the false confessions of convicted terrorists from Colombia, who had every motive to lie about their activities in order to minimize their jail time for their terrorist crimes. The plaintiffs' lawyers who filed this bogus lawsuit are citing, as their sole source for these false claims against Dole, outlandish assertions by terrorists from a Colombian paramilitary group known as AUC. As their complaint notes, it is based on information produced by Colombia's so-called Justice and Peace process, which allowed AUC terrorists to receive minimal jail time for their terrorist crimes if they participated in a public confession process.
"These terrorists have every reason to lie by making false allegations against international companies like Dole in order to minimize their own culpability and reduce their jail time," said C. Michael Carter, Dole's Executive Vice President and General Counsel. "This lawsuit is irresponsible and the allegations are blatantly false."
Dole has and will continue to aggressively defend its reputation as a highly ethical company that complies with the laws of every country in which the company does or has done business, including Colombia. Dole holds its employees and itself to the highest ethical standards of integrity and good corporate citizenship. The company prides itself on openness and transparency throughout its global operations.