Chiquita Banana Slips on Terror Peel

Chiquita Banana has agreed to pay $25 million for paying Colombian terrorists to protect its workers in the field. It will also plead guilty to a criminal Information.

The settlement resolves a lengthy Justice Department investigation into the company's financial dealings with terrorist organizations in Colombia.

In court documents filed Wednesday, federal prosecutors said the Cincinnati-based company and several unnamed high-ranking corporate officers paid about $1.7 million between 1997 and 2004 to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, known as AUC for its Spanish initials. The AUC has been responsible for some of the worst massacres in Colombia's civil conflict and for a sizable percentage of the country's cocaine exports. The right-wing group was designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization in September 2001.

Chiquita also paid money to FARC. How did the Justice Department find out?

"Bottom line: CANNOT MAKE THE PAYMENT," the company's outside counsel advised in February 2003, according to an excerpt of a memo included in court documents.

In April 2003, company officials and lawyers approached the Justice Department and told prosecutors they had been making the payments. According to court documents, the payments continued for months.

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  • Display: Sort:
    chiquita terrorist (none / 0) (#1)
    by skippybkroo on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:28:58 PM EST
    see skippy for our rather obvious photoshop version.

    Jeralyn: (none / 0) (#2)
    by peacrevol on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 09:00:36 AM EST
    We have to put that in the running for the best thread headline ever...Classic. Keep up the good work!

    But to be real for a second, did they realize who this group was while they were paying them?