Friday, May 24th 2013 - 06:55 UTC

Former Ford executives charged in Argentina for human rights crimes

Three former Ford Motor Co. executives have been charged with crimes against humanity in Argentina for allegedly targeting union workers for kidnapping and torture after the country's 1976 military coup.

Members of the Human Rights organization Madres de Plaza de Mayo Linea Fundadora and other demonstrators hold portraits of people who went missing in the 1976-1983 military dictatorship (AFP)

All three men are in their 80s now, and their case is part of a new wave of prosecutions focusing on corporate support for the dictators who ran Argentina from 1976-1983.

Factory director Pedro Muller, human resources chief Guillermo Galarraga and security manager Hector Francisco Jesus Sibilla are accused of giving names, ID numbers, pictures and home addresses to security forces who hauled two-dozen union workers off the factory floor to be tortured and interrogated and then sent to military prisons.

Judge Alicia Vence said that eliminating union resistance inside Ford's Argentina subsidiary was their goal.
 

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1 Optimus_Princeps (#) May 24th, 2013 - 12:01 pm Report abuse
It's an outrage that many corporations during that era supported military coups that could potentially turn a profit. I'm fairly certain that the majority of the U.S. public was unaware of what practices these companies were engaged in.

It's also unfortunate that these practices are precisely why so much hatred for “imperialism” is channeled at the general public and not those parties that were directly responsible.

Could someone who has done research on this topic refer me to some primary unbiased sources on Ford's involvement with the Dirty War?
2 Captain Poppy (#) May 24th, 2013 - 12:32 pm Report abuse
My opinion on corporate crime is not different be it in Argentina or the USA. I am not for fining the businesses as we have done to BP and I am fully in support of holding executive management criminally accountable and prefer jailtime and not country club jails. Every action under the Board of Directors are responsible for the actions of everyone under them. While I do not believe that current BoD should be accountable for crimianl actions of 35 years ago......Sr management at the time should be held and charged IF it is proven that Ford was in fact complicit to these activites.
3 Audi Consilium (#) May 25th, 2013 - 04:19 pm Report abuse
CP I totally agree. The situaution BP finds itself in, in the SE United States is a cynical manipulation by the US Government to use BP to as an income source to fund the ailing business of that region post financial crash. Allegedly US justice prides itself on being transparent and moral, how ever its arbiters in the compensation scheme don't event check the basic details of claims and approve them almost as as a free 'Bank of BP'. Thats Obama for you.
4 Captain Poppy (#) May 25th, 2013 - 07:15 pm Report abuse
Well I don't quite agree with you there. Though I would have like'd to see that moron tony hayward do a perp work........pay all legitimate claims, clean the disaster they created, and pay a fine that sends a message. I understand that Brits feel the USA is picking on a Brit company. But as I told Geoff, with all the links that the USA has prosecuted and sent quite a few people jail for fraudulent claims and also BP USA is the largest division and has the most assets in the world in the USA. I hardly think the USA needs to generate cash flow from BP with a 15 trillion dollar GDP versus the Brits at 2.5 trillion, but I am not here to measure dicks.
BP has a serious history of disasters in the USA.

www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/9680589/A-history-of-BPs-US-disasters.html

We allow a foreign business to suck up our resources, at least abide by the rules and stop killing people. Deep Horizon was the last straw when we decided enough was enough and it was time to make an example of people. But as I said, I prefer jail time for senior management for manslaughter.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12124830

I suppose out judges could be wearing wigs and provide better 21st century justice. Perhaps you would feel better and secure that we are not screwing a British firm. BP became the epitome of corporate greed and I have no sympathy for their penalties. They exploited US resources, cut corners and people paid the price, so it was time that BP shared the pain as well as people and the ecology. But Tony Hayward and his demeaning insults to those families that lost their husbands and fathers would have made a better penalty with jailtime.

www.propublica.org/article/bp-had-other-problems-in-years-leading-to-gulf-spill

The fines in the USA is a fixed amount based on spillage, plus cleanup costs, plus damages. BP was negligent, they did this, they own it and Tony should be in jail, like the Enron boys, Worl
5 Audi Consilium (#) May 25th, 2013 - 11:11 pm Report abuse
I feel that the US Govt will not be happy until it has crushed and destroyed BP because it can, and will use all percieved legal means to do so. You are right that it has no need (as you have set out) but sending a message is all that counts !! This message is heard clearly especially when the POTUS has no compunction in calling BP 'British Petroleum' to make a political point for home consumption, despite the fact that BP is not infact British per se. Its the 'compo' claims that are the 'tool' to bleed them dry. I certainly won't be berated for British companies supposed 'coropoate greed' as we both know that the US needs coroporate greed as its life blood.

However I do not want to swing this thread in a different direction from its original report. I will only say that there are many people outwith the US who no longer look upon them as the white hatted hero's and world sheriff, and they can no longer count on the wholehearted support of the rest of the world as they once did.
6 Captain Poppy (#) May 26th, 2013 - 01:18 am Report abuse
You are correct a some points and far from it on others. You are entitled to you opinion. However corporate greed is not limited to a single nation. As I said before though, that bumbling moron tony heywood would do better in Ft. Levenworth....... with Skilling, Ebbers, Kozloski and a few other American CEO's. Unfortunately we don't seem to prosecute foreign CEO's and neither do the foreign countries, unless of course they kill their own people. If BP is unhappy they can always take their assets out of the USA, but being they had the most assets in America and make the most on the P&L from America I highly doubt they well. BP is a odd name being most of revenue comes from the America division.....at least based on their 10k's.......but I could be wrong
As for back to the thread, Ford exec's should be paying jail time as well.
7 Audi Consilium (#) May 26th, 2013 - 10:13 am Report abuse
TBH we are not too far aware from each others views. It is good to have a conversation/debate with people who are willing to listen, respect and remain civilised. My thanks to you. I am in no way 'anti American' :)

And yes as far as the thread is concerned, I totally agree with you.

Regards :)
8 Captain Poppy (#) May 26th, 2013 - 02:23 pm Report abuse
TBH Is that me? Being we are the only posters....lol. I have to admit at times I get overly sensitive but the is really more to do with the actions of my government that tend to go from one extreme to the other these days. The politics has become an extreme polarization and a party power struggle. This may be good in the long run thereby creating more parties as I always felt two major parties (though there are many smaller ones) caucusing in congress removes negotiation and causes and “us and them” atmosphere. But I digress.

Enjoy the day.
9 British_Kirchnerist (#) Jun 02nd, 2013 - 06:07 pm Report abuse
Mainly good comments from the normally right wingers, I'm heartened by your recognition of common humanity over the brutal tactics of this particular capitalist against his workers. Now if you could just go the whole way and congratulate Cristinita for creating the climate where these wrongs are finally being righted =)
10 Captain Poppy (#) Jun 02nd, 2013 - 11:23 pm Report abuse
Once again BK you volley labels on people you only know fractional based on the internet.
I have no humanity for either kirchner and only wish her the worst, at the very least I wish on her what she has done to Argentina, rape and pillage and loot it. As for her convictions, they are as useful as if the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials took place in the late 70s and early 80s. They were allowed to live a good life before they were prosecuted. Immediately afterward they only prosecuted very low level soldiers. Alfonsin pulled back only after pressure from the military. Make it a two way street, why are no guerillas being prosecuted, they did their share of killing. Body count does not measure one to be more wrong than another.

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