Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Complaint filed against Nestle in Colombian trade unionist's death

Nestle was accused of failing to protect Luciano Romero, one of their employees and a Colombian trade union leader. The Trade Union Workers of the Colombia Agrifood System, said that the multinational did not protect the union member who was brutally murdered. The prosecutor of the canton of Vaud, Switzerland has filed a complaint against Nestlé.

The prosecutor of the canton of Vaud, Switzerland, filed a complaint against Nestlé for negligence on the occasion of the death of Luciano Romero Molina, the trade unionist murdered in September 2005 in Valledupar, northeastern Colombia.

The Colombian leader's wife blames the multinational corporation for the death of her husband at the hands of paramilitaries. However, Swiss prosecutors found that the charge of negligent homicide is past the statute of limitations for the murder and for the filing of the complaint.

The indictment had been filed on March 5, 2012 and was addressed on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Workers of Colombia Agrifood System (Sinaltrainal), reported that the Swiss multinational did not protect Luciano Romero, who was brutally murdered before traveling to Switzerland to testify against Nestlé in an indictment for violating labor laws.

In the month of January 2013, Swiss Justice had already condemned Nestlé, the world's first food producer, for having hired a Swedish security company, Securitas, to infiltrate and gather information on Colombian trade unionists.

Nestlé also conducted espionage against the NGO Attac, that accused the Swiss-based multinational corporation of violating labor regulations in Third World countries and generating activities harmful to the environment.

The transnational corporation responded to that decision with a statement in which it claimed that the actions did not match their principles and regretted that the ruling condemned it for espionage.

Nestlé has struggled with NGOs from the 80s, when they criticized the contents of a special milk for babies in Africa then sold by Nestlé.

Nestlé's products include baby food, bottled water, breakfast cereals, coffee, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, pet foods and snacks. Nestlé's 29 brands have annual sales of over 1 billion Swiss francs (about $ 1.1 billion), including Nespresso, Nescafé, KitKat, Smarties, Nesquik, Stouffer's, Vittel, and Maggi. Nestlé has around 450 factories, operates in 86 countries, and employs around 328,000 people. It is one of the main shareholders of L'Oréal, the world's largest cosmetics company.

Nestlé was formed in 1905 by the merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company, established in 1866 by brothers George Page and Charles Page, and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, founded in 1866 by Henri Nestlé.


Translated from the Spanish version by:

Lisa Karpova