Sept 17, 2007
A US-based banana company has been fined $25m for paying millions of dollars to Colombian paramilitary groups between 1997 and 2004.
A US federal court on Monday accepted an agreement reached between Chiquita and the US government in March that spared company executives from prosecution.
Chiquita had pleaded guilty to paying $1.7m to the United Self-Defence Committees of Colombia (AUC), which the United States has blacklisted as a “terrorist” group.
“Chiquita was funding the bullets which killed innocent Colombians,” Jonathan Malis, the prosecutor, said.
In accepting the fines, the prosecution agreed not to name or prosecute the executives involved in ordering the payment of protection money.
The US justice department said in March that Chiquita’s payments to the paramilitaries “were reviewed and approved by senior executives of the corporation, to include high-ranking officers, directors and employees”.
Colombia Outraged Over Chiquita Fine
By Joshua Goodman