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26 Apr 2009

Dan Monk, Cincinnati Business Courier

New report peels back layers on how, why Chiquita paid extortions to Colombian terrorists

...[the] recently filed 269-page report by a “special litigation committee” of Chiquita’s board of directors...offers an inside look at Chiquita’s turbulent history in Colombia. For the first time, it identifies executives who initiated payments...to Colom­bian paramilitary groups...those who tracked them and those who ultimately halted the practice in 2004...some argue the SLC report points to a need for legislation to clarify the responsibilities of U.S. companies doing business abroad. Arvind Ganesan, director of the business and human rights program at Human Rights Watch...said Chiquita executives spent years researching the legality of the payments. That decision would have been simple “if there were a law that said, ‘You cannot supply material support to a known human-rights abuser,’” said Ganesan. “Maybe the real lesson is, this should have been illegal in the first place.”