Drummond Coal of Alabama, a family owned corporation worth billions, is going on trial in Birmingham, AL May 14, 2007 in federal court, for the murder of union organizers. For years, the Bush nominated federal judge, Karen Bowdre, clamped a silence order on the plaintiff attorneys, which led to a news blackout on the case. However, a 3 judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court lifted the gag and now stories are coming out. Drummond closed most of its mines in Alabama, abandoning its union workers here, to move its primary operations to Colombia, where they have two strip mines they value at $2 Billion dollars. They have a private army protecting them from the Colombian people and from union organizers. Colombian witnesses say they have witnessed Drummond Execs pay right-wing paramilitaries, connected with the Colombian armed forces and right-wing government of President Uribe, to murder union organizers. In case people don't know, Colombia is the third highest recipient of US aid, after Israel and Egypt. The nation is deeply repressive and is the primary source of cocaine coming to the US (I believe that the battles with the Medillin and Cali cartels was in fact a turf battle, and the CIA and US military won and took over the trafficking of cocaine into our country). Colombia is, of course, a potential launching ground for an invasion of Venezuela, something being planned by the Bush/Cheney/Rove cabal. This trial is of greatest importance and should gain national and international attention. Please contact you local media to focus on it next month. Below is a B'ham News article in today's business section. There is another AP article I can't find on the net about a Colombian senator who has announced that Drummond conspired to assassinate him (Sen. Gustavo Petro). Please focus on this trial. Drummond is, in my opinion, a terrorist corporation, one of the US terrorist organizations. And its offices are just a few blocks from my home! Rev. Jack Zylman 1321 16th Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35205-6020 phone: 205-933-7678 cell: 205-821-0650 ------------------------------------------------------- Plaintiffs want surprise witness Would testify he saw company supply outlaws Wednesday, April 25, 2007 RUSSELL HUBBARD News staff writer Birmingham News http://www.al.com/business/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/base/business/1177488950215900.xml&coll=2 Lawyers suing Drummond Co. for the slaying of Colombian union activists said in legal documents Tuesday they have found a new witness who plans to say in court the company supported armed outlaw groups in the South American nation. Edwin Manuel Guzman was a sergeant in the Colombian Army and is now in that country's witness protection program, according to a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Birmingham. Guzman, the filings said, served in a Colombian army unit that helped guard Drummond's coal mine and rail lines. He is prepared to testify that he saw the Birmingham-based company supply a right-wing armed outlaw group and direct its military activities. Attempts to reach lawyers for Drummond, who have vigorously denied any wrongdoing by the company, were unsuccessful. Last month, Drummond released a statement saying it has never gotten involved with outlaw groups and will not settle the union-death case out of court. The dispute is centered in northwest Colombia, where Drummond stands accused of hiring the still-unknown killers of three union activists in 2001. The Colombian energy workers union and the families of the three slain labor leaders sued Drummond for the deaths in Birmingham federal court in 2002. They used a federal law passed in the 1700s that allows U.S. companies to be sued in America for civil injuries committed abroad. Special permission: Though the union and the family sued, they never specified who did the killing, only that Drummond directed it. The trial is scheduled to begin July 9. Because the trial is so close, the judge in the case will have to give special permission for surprise witness Guzman to testify. According to Monday's filing, Guzman's testimony would consist of eyewitness and second-hand information that attempts to connect Drummond to specific armed groups. The filing says Guzman plans to testify that between 1999 and 2002 he saw Drummond supply members of the armed group AUC with food and vehicles. AUC - the Spanish acronym for United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia - was in the area at Drummond's request to resist the simultaneous presence of left-wing guerrillas, the filing says. AUC is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department and has stated its money comes from drug trafficking and donations from sponsors seeking protection from other armed groups. Drummond's senior Colombian corporate security official, retired Colombian Army Col. Luis Carlos Rodriguez, coordinated relations between the company and the militia, Guzman says in the filing. Guzman goes on to say in a deposition attached to the filing that Rodriguez told him his Colombian Army unit "had no business" interfering with AUC's military activities. Guzman says in the deposition he planned to "ambush" AUC units on his turf, but that Rodriguez approached him in a black sport-utility vehicle and told him to lay off. Guzman goes on to say he was then relieved of his position as platoon commander and placed in a macabre new position. "It was at this time that I personally began to work in `legalizing' civilian victims of the paramilitaries ... meaning we would plant guerrilla uniforms on and weapons in civilians that AUC killed in order to make the killings appear legitimate," Guzman says in the deposition. Cites motorcycles: The former sergeant, according to the filing, is also prepared to give testimony about events that were related to him by other people. His deposition says a member of an armed outlaw group told him Drummond hired a militia leader called "Cebolla" to stop guerrilla attacks on its rail lines. Drummond then equipped the Cebolla group with motorcycles for the task, the filing says. Guzman also plans to testify that he was told by another party that Cebolla was responsible for killing the three labor leaders who worked at the Drummond mine, the motion says. Drummond, started in Walker County in the 1930s, began developing its Colombian coal mine in the 1980s. It now produces 24 million tons a year, more than every coal mine in Alabama combined. A second $1 billion mine near the savanna town of La Loma is under development. If Guzman's testimony is allowed, he will be the second Colombian insider at the trial. This year, U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre, who presides over the case, ruled that a former officer of the Colombian secret service can testify. Rafael Garcia, who is in prison in Colombia after a corruption conviction, says he saw Drummond officials pay members of an armed group. The Colombian government is investigating; Drummond has sued Garcia in Colombia for defamation. Colombia is filled with armed outlaw groups - both left-wing guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary organizations - after more than 40 years of civil war. They battle each other, the government, drug traffickers and civilians who are tired of it all. Killing union leaders is not uncommon in Colombia, with 800 labor-related deaths since 2001, according to Colombian government statistics.