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USA: Chiquita settles shareholder lawsuits over payments to Colombian paramilitaries who allegedly killed, tortured

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Article
6 January 2010

Chiquita Settles Investor Suits Over Terror Payments

Author: Erik Larson, Bloomberg.com

Chiquita Brands International Inc., which in 2007 pleaded guilty to U.S. charges of paying terrorist groups in Colombia for protection, said it reached a “favorable” settlement of shareholder lawsuits over the illegal payments. The owner of the namesake banana label will not pay money damages under the proposed deal, Chiquita spokesman Ed Loyd said...“The settlement provides for the adoption of certain governance and compliance changes by the company and payments of attorneys’ fees for plaintiffs counsel that aren’t material to our financial statements,” Loyd said. The deal, which needs court approval, doesn’t apply to lawsuits filed by family members of hundreds of people killed by two Colombian paramilitary groups that allegedly received money from Chiquita for about 15 years.

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11 January 2010

Les bananes de la terreur

Author: Rue Frontenac [Canada]

La dernière Note aux investisseurs du Groupe Investissement Responsable (GIR) révèle que Chiquita Brands International est finalement parvenue à un accord à l’amiable en vue de mettre un terme à quatre poursuites engagées par des actionnaires en 2007, après qu’elle eut admis avoir financé des groupes paramilitaires colombiens... [Les] actionnaires reprochaient aux membres de la direction de Chiquita de ne pas avoir honoré leur obligation fiduciaire à l’égard des actionnaires et d’avoir dilapidé les ressources de l’entreprise en s’empêtrant dans ces paiements aux paramilitaires colombiens. Les détails de l’accord...n’ont pas été révélés par Chiquita. L’entreprise s’est contentée d’affirmer qu’il lui était « favorable » et requiert qu’elle adopte certains changements en matière de gouvernance et de conformité. Cette entente entre Chiquita et ses actionnaires ne mettra toutefois pas fin aux déboires judiciaires de l’entreprise en lien avec le financement de paramilitaires colombiens...

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