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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 06:29 PM
Original message
Colombia: Chiquita accused of arms transport for guerrillas
Colombia: Chiquita accused of arms transport for guerrillas
(Publication date: 10 April 2006)

Tholen - The human rights tribunal TPP has started hearings against the multinational Chiquita, amongst others, because of their contacts with the Colombian guerrillas. Also the US and Switzerland (Nestl) are held responsible for allowing their multinationals to profit from the conflict in the country. The TPP thinks that employees in Colombia are being kept under pressure as companies use the guerrillas as agents to be able to cut labour rights.

Chiquita would have admitted paying paramilitary groups in front of a US tribunal. However, the TPP believes that evidence exists that proves a shipment of the multinational in 2001 of 3000 automatic rifles of the type AK-47 and 5 mln. bullets in ammunition to guerrilla groups in Crdoba and Urab.

Publication date: 10 April 2006
Author: Andr van der Wiel

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. More: Chiquita Bananas admits financing terrorist organisations
Chiquita Bananas admits financing terrorist organisations
On Monday 11 May, Chiquita Bananas, the North American banana company, publicly admitted that they financed a terrorist group in Colombia. They refused to name which group, or how much they paid or for how long.
They just released the following statement The voluntary admission to the Department of Justice was made because the companys administration found out that this group had been classified as a terrorist group, and that under United States law, it is a crime to assist or support this type of organisation.

So, who could this group be? It is absurd to even imagine that Chiquita might have financed either the FARC or the ELN. Furthermore, by the mid 90s these two groups had been all but destroyed in Uraba and Cordoba, where Chiquita grow most of their bananas. The AUC however is in complete control of the region. Could Chiquita Bananas have been financing the paramilitary AUC?

History would suggest this behaviour to be nothing out of the ordinary for Chiquita. In 1928, the United Fruit Co, the name that the company went by, until they changed their name to the much friendlier Chiquita ordered one of the worst massacres in Latin American history. 3,000 banana workers and their families were slaughtered in Cienaga, on Colombias Atlantic coast. In 1950, the United Fruit Co financed the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Guatemala, an act that led to years of bloodshed and barbarity. In fact, the term banana republic was coined to refer to Latin American and Caribbean countries where the United Fruit Co enjoyed virtual control of whole governments and countries.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, Uraba and Cordoba suffered some of the worst political violence in Colombia, and the banana workers have been in the eye of the storm. In the 90s alone, over 1,000 members of the Union Patriotica were assassinated there, many of them union leaders and banana workers. Today, the banana workers unions have ceased to exist in any real way.

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central scrutinizer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. gorillas like bananas
sorry, I couldn't help myself
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
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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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Many more than fifty, the vile history of UFCO begins in 1899!
They would miss out on their fair share of atrocities!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. The article reveals they grabbed up the land for free in many cases
and at very close to free in others. I had a suspicion it worked this way.

Thank you for illuminating the time element. It surely does go back far too long to have lasted without important checks on their power.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. I assume the executives will be going to Gitmo? EOM
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
The multinationals have imposed their interests over our national interest Francisco Ramirez

Colombian President Uribe was formerly governor of Antioquia. Homicides grew until his term of office ended. There were paramilitary operations when Chiquita Banana began to operate in Uraba near the border with Panama. Trade unionists were told: resign from the union or face the death squads.
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Same could be said in any country including the U.S.. The corporations
consider themselves soveriegn entities, with few national loyalties or responsibilities...unless it benefits them. Then they'll start waving the flag...any flag.

Most multinationals are much wealthier than many countries.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Food for thought item concerning Chiquita (United Fruit)
United Fruit Company Strike

Colombia 1928


In 1928 workers in the Colombian banana zone in the Department of Magdalena went on strike against the United Fruit Company. Workers in the region had been organizing for a decade, creating unions such as the Unin Sindical de Trabajadores del Magdalena (USTM). In 1928 the leaders of the USTM presented the company with a list of demands that ranged from wage increases to the abolition of company stores. When the company refused to meet these demands, the workers went on strike in November 1928. With the strike unresolved in early December, the government sent in army troops who massacred hundreds and perhaps thousands of strikers who were peacefully gathering for a march in the town of Cinaga. The massacre, made famous in novel One Hundred Years of Solitude by Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garca Mrquez, had profound political consequences in Colombia, as it damaged the reputation of the ruling Conservative Party and contributed to a victory by the Liberal Party in the 1930 elections.
(snip) /


United Fruit and Guatemala:
One might naively inquire how a small Christian country could harbor such violence and injustice. In 1944 the Guatemala economy was mostly agricultural. Two percent of the landowners owned 72 percent of the land. Ninety percent of the landowners held a mere 15 percent of the productive land. Poverty stricken Indians labored like slaves for 150 days each year on sprawling plantations in lieu of taxes. Illiteracy was 75 percent among the general population and 95 percent among the Indians. Life expectancy was fifty years for Ladinos (Spanish/Indian blood) and forty years for Indians. <2> The major financial benefactor was United Fruit Company. <3> This company was the largest employer with 40,000 jobs in a country with fewer than a million working aged men. United Fruit also owned the only railroad, the only major port, the telephone and telegraph service and was the biggest influence on the United States owned electric facility. <4>

Direct United States government involvement into Guatemala, the CIA's first covert operation in Latin America, in one of the many so-called banana republics, began in 1947 instigated by the United Fruit Company. They used their high priced Washington lobbying firm and a considerable public relations campaign which convinced the American public that Guatemala had become a Soviet satellite. Thomas G. Corcoran, a high powered lawyer, proposed the idea of a CIA overthrow of Arbenz. His like-minded associate, General Walter Bedell Smith, Director of Central Intelligence (from October 1950 to February 1953 under Truman and Under Secretary of State under Eisenhower) took the idea of a CIA overthrow back to his boss, Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles. The Dulles brothers, Allen and John were previously partners in the law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell that collected fees from United Fruit Company with their big acquisition of the Guatemalan and other Central American railroads.

Bloodshed and despair at the hands of successive right wing barbaric dictators has been the lot of the citizens of Guatemala all financed by trusting, distracted American taxpayers who are force-fed by government/corporate media propaganda. We blindly fund American big business friendly governments convinced by our complicit government that the Guatemalan people would fall prey to dreaded communism if we withhold our support. Yet, because of our blood-soaked money, they fall prey to their own barbaric, American installed puppet leaders.

Sabino Perez, who watched in 1982 as his village went up in flames, said, "You can give money to reconstruct a country after a war, but you can't reconstruct the lost humanity. You can build buildings but nothing can bring the dead back to life." <21>
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Jose Diablo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
6. I don't doubt a word of it
Edited on Mon Apr-10-06 07:10 PM by Jose Diablo
look what they did with that bandoleer that Elad showed a few days back, protecting that woman's bazookas.

Edit: They were shown, it was his pictures of his trip to Baghdad showing the peaceful night life there.
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NorthernSun Donating Member (324 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-10-06 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
11. At the behest of?
Media has a hard time admitting to 'Right-Wing' terrorists.
You can bet they had the OK from the Bush/Moon 'World Anti-Communist League". It wasn't long ago that US soldiers were caught delivering arms to the RW paramilitaries. That got hushed up fast.
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