Chiquita admits paying fighters
US banana company Chiquita Brands International has said it will plead guilty to a count of doing business with a paramilitary group in Colombia. The firm has agreed to pay a court settlement of $25m (£13m) to resolve an inquiry by the US justice department. Prosecutors said Chiquita paid about $1.7m between 1997 and 2004 to the United Self Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC) in return for "protection". Chiquita says it was only motivated by the desire to safeguard its employees. The AUC...has carried out massacres and assassinations...Chiquita has since sold its Colombian banana operations.