Chiquita in Latin America: From Arbenz to Zelaya by Nikolas Kozloff

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by Nikolas Kozloff
ICH
July 17, 2009 “Counterpunch

When the Honduran military overthrew the democratically elected government of Manuel Zelaya two weeks ago there might have been a sigh of relief in the corporate board rooms of Chiquita banana.  Earlier this year the Cincinnati-based fruit company joined Dole in criticizing the government in Tegucigalpa which had raised the minimum wage by 60%.  Chiquita complained that the new regulations would cut into company profits, requiring the firm to spend more on costs than in Costa Rica: 20 cents more to produce a crate of pineapple and ten cents more to produce a crate of bananas to be exact.  In all, Chiquita fretted that it would lose millions under Zelaya’s labor reforms since the company produced around 8 million crates of pineapple and 22 million crates of bananas per year.

When the minimum wage decree came down Chiquita sought help and appealed to the Honduran National Business Council, known by its Spanish acronym COHEP.  Like Chiquita, COHEP was unhappy about Zelaya’s minimum wage measure.  Amílcar Bulnes, the group’s president, argued that if the government went forward with the minimum wage increase employers would be forced to let workers go, thus increasing unemployment in the country.  The most important business organization in Honduras, COHEP groups 60 trade associations and chambers of commerce representing every sector of the Honduran economy.  According to its own Web site, COHEP is the political and technical arm of the Honduran private sector, supports trade agreements and provides “critical support for the democratic system.”

[…]

via Chiquita in Latin America  : Information Clearing House – ICH

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Honduras coup leader ready to quit

Washington & the Coup in Honduras + U.S. continues to train Honduran soldiers

Colombia: Stories That Kill

Chiquita: Between life and law

from the archives:

Chiquita pays for paramilitary ties + Colombia Outraged Over Chiquita Fine By Joshua Goodman

Chiquita: Between life and law

Dandelion Salad

Warning

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

AlJazeeraEnglish

Fined $25m by the US federal court for funding a terrorist organisation, Chiquita, the US-based banana distribution company, is now facing a number of new lawsuits.

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Chiquita pays for paramilitary ties

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Al Jazeera
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”.

Continued…

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Citizens for Boycotting Chiquita by Kyle de Beausset

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by Kyle de Beausset

Immigration Orange

It is time to boycott Chiquita Brands International, Inc. I covered Chiquita for the first time almost five months ago. Since then, I have gotten over 30 blogs to cover the fact that Chiquita pled guilty to “Engaging in Transactions with a Specially-Designated Global Terrorist”. Finally, this scandal is getting the attention it deserves. The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal ran front page stories on Chiquita’s indictment. The Los Angeles Times recently ran a major article, as well. While I will continue my campaign to get blogs to cover this issue, it is clear that we need to step up what I have humbly named the Campaign for International Justice. It is time to boycott Chiquita.

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Banana Republic: Chertoff, Chiquita and Right-Wing Death Squads by Chris Floyd

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Written by Chris Floyd
Thursday, 02 August 2007

As Jonathan Schwarz recently noted, there is a deeply discouraging sameness about the outrages that dissenting writers must address — and a new front-page story in the Washington Post is a perfect example. In fact, it’s a piece that could have been written any time in the last 100 years or more: “Feds Look the Other Way While United Fruit Company Peddles Death and Corruption in Latin America.”

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Seek Justice Against Chiquita by Kyle de Beausse

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by Kyle de Beausse
Immigration Orange

I’ve reached the next modest benchmark in my campaign to raise awareness about Chiquita. 20 blogs have educated their readers about Chiquita pleading guilty to paying almost $2 million to recognized terrorists groups in Colombia. I would like to use this opportunity to make a humble plea for help, and put forth a passionate defense about why this cause is the right one to take on.

It was an article in the Christian Science Monitor that inspired me to act. This article made clear that Chiquita was not only paying protection payments, but it might have actually been providing actual physical support by transporting over 3,000 assault rifles. It also made the human costs of funding paramilitary organizations very clear to me. Since reading this article I have become even more convinced of the necessity to raise awareness about this injustice and take action.

I’m not going to play any games in this post. The primary reason I think it is important to act on this is because I believe this case illustrates global inequity more than any other. This inequity that is not only tacitly accepted, but is actively enforced by the governments of our nations. The citizens of different nations are not born equal and I believe this campaign has the potential to bring this reality to light and inspire people to do something about it.

Continued…