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Chiquita Held Liable For Funding Colombian Paramilitaries

ramonmercado

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For more than a century international vanana companies have been behind mass murder and coups in Latin America.

Chiquita held liable for funding Colombian paramilitaries​

12 minutes ago 11 June 2024. By Vanessa Buschschlüter, BBC News

Getty Images Chiquita bananas
Getty Images
A court in the United States has found multinational fruit company Chiquita Brands International liable for financing a Colombian paramilitary group.


The group, the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), was designated by the US as a terrorist organisation at the time.
The AUC engaged in widespread human rights abuses, including murdering people it suspected of links with left-wing rebels.

Following a civil case brought by eight Colombian families whose relatives were killed by the AUC, Chiquita has been ordered to pay $38.3m (£30m) in damages to the families.

The jury in the case, which was heard in a federal court in South Florida, found Chiquita responsible for the wrongful deaths of eight men murdered by the AUC.

The victims ranged from trade unionists to banana workers.

The case was brought by the families after Chiquita pleaded guilty in 2007 to making payments to the AUC.

During the 2007 trial, it was revealed that Chiquita had made payments amounting to more than $1.7m to the AUC in the six years from 1997 to 2004.

The banana giant said that it began making the payments after the leader of the AUC at the time, Carlos Castaño, implied that staff and property belonging to Chiquita's subsidiary in Colombia could be harmed if the money was not forthcoming. Lawyers for Chiquita argued that the company had no choice but to pay the AUC to protect its Colombian employees from violence.

But the plaintiffs argued that the company formed "an unholy alliance with the AUC" at a time when Chiquita was expanding its presence in regions controlled by the AUC. The regular payments continued even after the AUC was designated by the US as a foreign terrorist organisation in 2001.

While the AUC claimed to have been created to defend landowners from attacks and extortion attempts by left-wing rebels, the paramilitary group more often acted as a death squad for drug traffickers.

At its height, it had an estimated 30,000 members who engaged in intimidation, drug trafficking, extortion, forced displacement and killings. ...

The class-action lawsuit against Chiquita which ended on Monday focussed on nine cases, which were chosen out of hundreds of claims against the banana company.

The jury found that the AUC was responsible for eight of the nine murders examined as part of the lawsuit. The jury also ruled that Chiquita had knowingly provided substantial assistance to the AUC, to a degree sufficient to create a foreseeable risk of harm. ...

A second case against Chiquita brought by another group of plaintiffs is due to start on 15 July.

https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c6pprpd3x96o
 
Following a civil case brought by eight Colombian families whose relatives were killed by the AUC, Chiquita has been ordered to pay $38.3m (£30m) in damages to the families.
But is that more or less than the value they received from that plus the 1.7m in payments they made? Because if you pay out $40m, but get a lot more than that in value, someone's going to make that choice every time.
 
But is that more or less than the value they received from that plus the 1.7m in payments they made? Because if you pay out $40m, but get a lot more than that in value, someone's going to make that choice every time.

Not every multinational company decides to finance mass murder and contemplates their balance sheets on that basis.
 
On the ethical hand, yes, on the other hand, the actions of various multinational fruit growers all over the western hemisphere for more than a century
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_Wars
And https://www.ranker.com/list/how-dole-stole-hawaii/melissa-sartore
Some years ago, pre 2000, a number of people I know would never work for a certain Irish principal contractor as there was, allegedly, a small donation taken monthly from the staff’s salaries, reputedly to fund the IRA.
The contractor still exists and are doing well, so hopefully you’ll excuse me if I don’t name them here.
 
Some years ago, pre 2000, a number of people I know would never work for a certain Irish principal contractor as there was, allegedly, a small donation taken monthly from the staff’s salaries, reputedly to fund the IRA.
The contractor still exists and are doing well, so hopefully you’ll excuse me if I don’t name them here.

Could it have been the Official IRA, linked to the Workers Party? They were long involved in extortion on building sites. Details on the WP/OIRA and Superdollars from page 1: https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/conspiracy-in-ireland-north-south.62836/
 
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