Regarding 6 FARC-orchestrated killings in the 1990s
Settlement reached in Chiquita case involving US deaths
The families of six Americans kidnapped and killed in Colombia during the 1990s by the FARC terrorist organization have reached a settlement with banana giant Chiquita Brands International on Monday, the morning that the trial was to begin. A notice of settlement was filed just as jury selection was to start in West Palm Beach federal court. Terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.
According to a usnews.com article, Chiquita was accused of violating the Anti-Terrorism Act by paying FARC some $220,000 over nearly a decade. Those payments, the families claimed, made the company liable to pay damages for the Americans' deaths because of its financial support to a terrorist group.
Chiquita, whose parent company is based in Switzerland, is one of the world's largest fresh produce companies and employs about 20,000 people in 70 countries. The company previously said it paid FARC solely to protect its banana operation employees and interests in the Uraba region of Colombia from violence. FARC and other paramilitary groups were engaged in a decades-long civil war in Colombia that took thousands of lives. The bloodshed finally ended in 2016 when a peace accord was signed.
A spokesperson for Chiquita stated: “Chiquita is pleased to have reached an amicable resolution with the plaintiffs. The agreement reflects the commitment of Chiquita, under new and private ownership since 2015, as well as its new management team, to focus fully on the future and move the organization forward. This litigation related to events that occurred over 20 years ago during the time of Colombia’s civil war, when many Colombians and others endured profound pain at the hands of Colombian terrorist organizations, both from the left and the right. With this matter concluded, Chiquita will continue its focus on being a good citizen and partner in the countries where we do business.”
Publication date: 2/6/2018
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