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Chiquita Brands Sues [Security & Exchange Commission] to Probe Documents’ Release [USA]

Chiquita Brands International Inc. sued the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to block disclosure of documents from a probe of payments to a Colombian paramilitary group, saying their release would subject the company to unfair criticism…Disclosure of the documents “will make them available to the general public, including members of the press and individuals and organizations that seek to distort the facts surrounding the payments that Banadex made to the AUC under threat of force,” Chiquita’s lawyer…said in the complaint. The…company was fined $25 million after pleading guilty in March 2007 to engaging in transactions with a terrorist group for paying Colombian paramilitary militias $1.7 million from 1997 to 2004. The company is defending multiple civil lawsuits in federal court in Florida brought by families who claim relatives were kidnapped and murdered after the company paid the group. Chiquita, in its lawsuit, alleges the National Security Archive is allied with plaintiff lawyers in the Florida litigation and seeks to influence those proceedings as well as a criminal investigation of former employees in Colombia…