Terror for bananas

Judicial documents prove close cooperation between US company Chiquita and right parliamitars in Colombia

In 2007, after a multiannual procedure, the US Department of Justice against the Banana Group of Chiquita Brands International revealed documents, which occupy a systematic cooperation of the US company with militar and armed groups in Colombia. This is out of justice acts to which the US Institute National Security Archive is reached. The research institution at the George-Washington University in the US capital has access to around 5 via the Freedom of Information Law.500 files from the proceedings against Chiquita received. The information obtained therein will not only bring the agricultural company in a surprise, but also governments in Washington and Bogota.

For four years, a procedure of the US Department of Justice against the Chiquita Group had attracted headquarters in the state of Ohio. In 2007, both sides agreed on a comparison: the ministry accepted the burial of the company, after which it was forced to the protection allowances. In addition, Chiquita defended, one never received a consideration from the paramilitarian organizations. Against a penalty of 25 million, the procedure was completed after four years.

The connections already proven then were punishable because the parliastars of Washington merged in the umbrella organization AUC were considered to be terrorist organizations. From Colombian and international experts, the militias for the Ubergrobe majority of human rights violations in the Sud American country are made responsible. At the side of the army they fight against decades existing guerilla organizations. The Burger War in Colombia costs 9 years of thousands of people.

Years and systematic cooperation with army and militias

It is apparent from the acts become public that Chiquita has collaborated as one of the world’s largest banana producers over more than a decade with all actors in the armed conflict of Colombia. At the beginning of the 1990s, business representatives paid units of left-wing guerilla organizations to ensure the safety on the plantations.

When the rebels were returned by the army and paramilitars, Chiquita changed the contacts. After a memorandum from August 1993, a subcontractor paid in the northeast village of Turbo the Ortal Army Units Three Dollarcent Pramie Pro Banana Board. In the following years, the AUC militias were founded by the Father Prassified Alvaro Uribe "Convivir"-Burgers financed. Already in 1990, the researchers were now praised, tried to see such "Delicate payments" to disguise in the balance sheets. From the funds for army and paramilitars were spending on "public safety".

The new publications, however, also critics of the former Prasident Alvaro Uribe, who ruled the Sud American country from 2002 to 2010. As the governor of the state of Antioquia, the conservative politician had the "Convivir"-Burgers founded. Human rights organizations have repeatedly referred to as pre-mint organizations of the paramilitars since then.

In the Chiquita documents, the confirmation is now found that the supposed burger organizations in the fight against the guerrilla worked closely with the army. In addition, Alvaro Uribe and another high-ranking regional politician, Alfonso NĂșnez, had already received the Chiquita subsidiary Compania Frutera de Seville payments in 2000. This is confirmed by a memorandum of the Chiquita lawyer Robert Thomas from the year 2000. In cooperation, it alone has gone to ensure safety in the company’s operating territory, it is called in the documents to which the US Ministry of Justice had access to the procedure.

Possible impact on free trade planes

The new enthusiasms are unpleasant not only for the agricultural group and the ministry representatives in Washington. The National Security Archive published the files last Thursday Just on the day of a meeting between the reigning Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his US counterpart Barack Obama in the woman’s house in Washington. Santos and Obama negotiated the implementation of a bilateral free trade agreement, which is just because of the entanglement of state actors in crime of Colombian paramilitars on ice. Neither in Washington nor in Bogota you liked so far on the newly published documents. A request from the news agency IPS to the US Ministry of Justice remained unanswered, while a Chiquita spokesman for the 2007 judgment published itself.

However, the unforesigned judiciary records could play a role in other procedures against the banana company. Currently, hundreds of parliamal terror in Colombia are arguing in front of US courts for securities payments by Chiquita Brands International. The documents proved that the US company consciously cooperated with the AUC Paramilitars, while the militias spread in the northwestern region Uraba Terror, the human rights activist Arturo Carrillo from the George-Washington University. Carrillo represents one of the victims in the current procedure.

It was consciously decided on the publication of the files in this situation, says the head of the Colombia Research Group of the National Security Archives, Michael Evans. It should be clarified, which is why the Ministry of Justice had the evidence of a conscious cooperation of Chiquita with Paramilitars and Army Auber eight. On the other hand, these documents made clear, "that businesses in Colombia always have a high price than just a few protection payments". Evens pointed out that around 150 trade unionists were murdered in the Sud American country alone in the past three years.