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Reply #3: Chiquita sells Colombia holdings, cites paramilitary payments [View All]

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 06:44 PM
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3. Chiquita sells Colombia holdings, cites paramilitary payments
Posted: 15 June 2004 0345 hrs

Chiquita sells Colombia holdings, cites paramilitary payments

WASHINGTON : Chiquita said it would sell holdings in Colombia, citing a US investigation into money the banana grower paid to a paramilitary army on a US list of terrorists.

"There are many reasons for the decision to sell the operations. The Department of Justice's investigation is a factor (but) it's not the only factor," spokesman Michael Mitchell told AFP from Chiquita Brands International's headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Chiquita said in a statement that it will sell Invesmar Ltd. for 51.1 million dollars to CI Banacol SA, of Colombia, including 28.5 million in cash, 15 million in deferred payments and assume eight million dollars of pension obligations.

Chiquita said in April 2003 it had paid the right-wing United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia army for what it called "protection" for its employees, according to a statement it released May 10. Chiquita did not reveal the amount its Colombian affiliate Banadex paid to the paramilitaries.

The US State Department lists the paramilitary group as a foreign terrorist organization, along with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the National Liberation Army, two leftist guerrilla bands that also extort money for protection.

Colombia's paramilitaries began in the banana region, near Colombia's border with Panama. The group grew into an army of 10,000 armed irregulars and has been negotiating its demobilization with the Colombian government.


DU'ers who don't know about the bloody history of United Fruits (renamed Chiquita) in Latin America going back over 50 years will have a lot of reading ahead, if interested in researching.
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