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Article

The impunity of Chiquita Brands International: friends in high places

After...the case against Chiquita...before the US District Court of the District of Columbia on March 14, 2007, in which it was verified Chiquita...through its subsidiary...Banadex S.A., made...payments for over six years to the paramilitar[ies]...the president of Colombia...declared...that he did not [see a problem] for the Colombian justice system to request the extradition of this company’s board....Nonetheless, since then, the president...has not mentioned the...eventual extradition of the board of directors for their responsibility in the...commission of crimes...by paramilitary organizations...including forced displacement, homicide, torture, and forced disappearance...In the United States, Chiquita...has enjoyed the same fruits of impunity, given that its senior officials and executives move within the most powerful political sectors...as is the case of Roderick M. Hills...[a]...board member...[who's]...son-in-law, Steve Bunell, was appointed senior prosecutor of the criminal division of the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington D.C., which conducted the preliminary investigation against Chiquita...Carl H. Lindner Jr....chief executive officer from 1984 to August 2001...According to the magazine Mother Jones, from 2000 to 2004, Lindner was largest private donor to political parties in the United States...Joseph Whitehouse Hagin, deputy White House chief of staff from 2001 until July 2008, deputy campaign manager in George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign, and vice president of Chiquita...from 1991 to 2000...These are some of the principal reasons why the case against Chiquita Brands has not been able to move forward.

Part of the following stories

NGO says Chiquita's political connections in Colombia & USA contribute stalling of case against firm for payments to paramilitaries

Chiquita lawsuits (re Colombia, filed in USA by Colombian nationals)