Damages From Counternarcotic Activities in South America
Thousands of Ecuadoreans brought an action under the Alien Tort Claims Act, the Torture Victim Protection Act, and various international agreements and conventions, alleging physical harm and property damage from DynCorp’s contract with the U.S. government to spray pesticides in order to eradicate cocaine and heroin production in Colombia. The suit alleges that during the course of the contract — part of the State Department’s “Plan Colombia” — DynCorp also sprayed areas of Ecuador and thereby caused severe physical and mental damage to the plaintiffs. DynCorp denies liability on the ground that they were not flying the spray missions themselves, and that the missions were flown by two groups of pilots who were not under DynCorp’s control: one from EAST, a U.S. subcontractor, and the other from the Colombian National Police (CNP). In April 2017, a federal jury returned a verdict in the first of the test trials. The jury concluded that DynCorp was responsible for the EAST pilots, who took over control of the CNP pilots in April 2003. All of the first 6 test plaintiffs had claims pre-dating April 2003, and the jury did not award damages because it could not determine whether DynCorp or the CNP was responsible for the spraying.
- Misconduct Type
- Enforcement Agency
- Contracting Party
- State Dept.
- Court Type
- Date of Complaint (approx.)
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