June 17, 2024 in News by RBN Staff

source:  blacklistednews

Published: June 13, 2024


Old habits die hard:

Founded in 1899 in Boston, United Fruit quickly grew to be the dominant force in the region. In addition to the banana plantations and railway, it also ran the post office and the telegram service. By the 1930s, with a dictator in power, United Fruit had amassed hundreds of thousands of acres of Guatemalan land. It was the country’s single largest landowner. Its reach was so ubiquitous that people called the company El Pulpo — the octopus.

The company Chiquita was formed out of a defunct United Fruit in the 1980s. It’s no longer a US company. It’s now based in Switzerland and owned by Brazilian firms. But, it is still a huge banana producer. And the brand is still everywhere in the United States.

Via: BBC:

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.

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.

Chiquita said in a statement that it intended to appeal against the jury’s verdict, arguing that there was “no legal basis for the claims”.

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 killed by the AUC.

The AUC engaged in widespread human rights abuses in Colombia, including murdering people it suspected of links with left-wing rebels.

The victims ranged from trade unionists to banana workers.