The Girl from Kathmandu Twelve Dead Men and a Woman’s Quest for Justice

Review From User :

This is an important book for a few reasons. First, it shows how for corporations, money is God; some will do anything for profit- including using what amounts to slavery to do the work so they can get as large a profit as possible. KLM, the former subsidiary of Halliburton is one such corporation. When twelve men from Kathmandu were executed on video during the Iraq War, it occurred as they were on route to an American base where they were to be forced to work despite the fact that they had taken out huge mortgages on their farms in order to buy jobs that were supposed to be at a 5 star hotel in Ammon where they would make enough money to pay back the mortgages in a few years and have enough left over to escape the poverty that had been a constant in their lives since birth. Their passports were seized by the agents of the company that had employed them and then told them they would be working in Iraq and their pay would be a fraction of what they had contracted for. They were kidnapped by terrorists who executed them. The kidnapping took place on a road known to be highly dangerous.
Making the situation worse for the widows and children of the men, customs in Kathmandu demand that all widows are to be shunned; that they are to be treated very badly, some are even thrown out on the street. One of the widows, after having a very good relationship with her in-laws while her husband was alive was suddenly treated like a pariah and even though the Kathmandu government gave a small compensation to the families effected, Kamala, one of the widows was given nothing. She took her daughter and left her inlaws house, eventually moving into a school that offered refuge for her and her daughter and taught her to sew. All the while, an American journalist picked up the story and began an investigation and before long a law suit against KLM that took nearly twelve years due to the tactics used by the KLM lawyers who did everything in their power to prevent the case going to court. In the end, KLM was aided by the right wing Supreme Court which denied that American companies are liable for human trafficking if it isn't done in this country.
This book is important because it demonstrates how low SCOTUS has sunk and how you can get justice in this country only if you have enough money to pay for it. That said, it also demonstrates that there are still high-minded lawyers willing to dedicate themselves fully to work for justice.

This is a very readable book meticulously researched. The author followed this story for years and did much of the work in finding the families of the victims and informing them of their rights-something no one else had bothered to do.


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