Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has asked the United States
Justice Department for information on twenty (former) executives of
Chiquita Brands was sentenced to pay a US$25 million fine in 2007 after it had admitted having paid paramilitary organization AUC protection money. The Cincinnati-based company and several unnamed high-ranking corporate
officers paid about $1.7 million between 1997 and 2004 to the United
Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).
The AUC, in those days in control of the region where Chiquita was operating, committed numerous human rights violations against the population and murdered several unionists representing banana workers. So far, none of the Chiquita Brands executives were ever trialed in Colombia.
But according to official sources, Colombia’s Supreme Court has recently asked information about middlemen who were responsible for the Chiquita payment of the paramilitaries, Caracol Radio reported Tuesday.
According to several former bosses of the AUC, Chiquita Brands wasn’t the only multinational paying them ‘protection money’.