Colombia’s Supreme Court said assets owned by Chiquita Brand International should be allocated to families of children recruited by the defunct paramilitary group, AUC, local media reported on Monday.
The request comes after the reopening of a criminal investigation into the multinational banana company to find out “to what degree” Chiquita financed the AUC. The multinational banana company allegedly funded the right-wing paramilitary group for “protection” purposes from 1997 to 2004.
Colombia’s Supreme Court’s request is specifically related to children the AUC recruited in the northwest banana region of Uraba.
Chiquita is currently embroiled in a class action lawsuit against a group of Colombian families in the United States. The fruit company is accused of paying the AUC for security services, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians. The lawsuit claims Chiquita allowed paramilitaries to use one of its ports to “ship drugs out and smuggle arms in.”