In the News

Balls and Chains

Spiegel Online

The world's footballs are made in Sialkot, Pakistan. But the city's relative prosperity is under threat - from rival producers in the Far East and human rights activists in the West.

The buildings huddle on the city's outskirts, at the end of the road where the stubbled fields begin. Water is in short supply. The grass is tough and lean. As are the goats, the sheep, the buffalo - and the people. A picture of monotony.

Keep a close watch on Firestone's abuse

Baltimore Sun

As The Sun's article on Firestone's rubber plantation in Liberia notes, the tire company has been the target of a worldwide campaign and lawsuit because of its 80 years of exploitation of Liberia ("Fragile Liberia struggles to protect a crucial industry," May 20).

The Firestone plantation has been characterized by child labor and widespread abuses of workers' rights, and a report from the Liberian government recently confirmed that the company dumps toxic chemicals into local rivers.

Firestone, Salala Not Beneficial to Us

The Analyst

Citizens of Margibi County have indicted that Firestone rubber plantation and the Salala rubber company that operate in the county are insensitive to the developmental needs of the county and its people ever since the rubber estates begun operating in there.

They said the two companies are particularly not beneficial to them. They gave their impression of the rubber estates Unification Town at a meeting aimed at brainstorming to find a sustainable development drives for the county and its people under the Johnson-Sirleaf's government.

Flower power: A blooming movement for change


Roses for North America are largely grown in Colombia, Latin America's largest flower exporter. Some farms are certified as being environmentally sound and having good labour practices. Most are not. (Fernando Vergara/Associated Press)

We love to "say it with flowers," as the slogan goes from florists around the world. In fact, there's a veritable cacophony of bouquets changing hands out there. Canadians, Americans, Europeans and others are giving each other roses, carnations and chrysanthemums — the big three of cut flowers — like never before... 

Taking it to Drummond: Paramilitaries and Mining Companies in Colombia

Counter Punch

By Stephen F. Jackson

He in his signature "guayabera" and me in my gringo cowboy shirt, we perch in the salubrious, tropical breeze of the Caribbean night in Cartagena, palm trees rustling over the veranda of the colonial restaurant. Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells me that "Colombia is immersed in a holocaust of Biblical proportions."

Paramilitary leader charged in 2 mine killings in Colombia

Associated Press

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA — A feared paramilitary boss has been charged with ordering the murders of two union leaders at a coal mine owned by Drummond Co. Inc., an Alabama company being sued in a U.S. court for alleged complicity in the killings.

Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, better known as "Jorge 40," is accused of ordering hit men to kill the two men, the federal prosecutor's office said Thursday.

Liberia’s May Day Marked by Strike at Firestone Tire Company

Voice of America

By Nico Colombant

As workers around the world mark May Day, in Liberia, a strike is ongoing at the rubber plantations of the Firestone tire company, highlighting long standing problems between the country's biggest private employer and its workforce. VOA's Nico Colombant has the story from Dakar, with additional reporting by Prince Collins in Monrovia.

Angry workers at Firestone have clashed several times with police during a strike now entering its second week.

A protest leader, Ida Collins, expressed her dismay.