Chiquita Can't Shuck Colombia Terror Claims [USA]
Relatives of banana-plantation workers, political and social activists, and other civilians killed by Colombian paramilitary forces may sue Chiquita over claims of torture, extrajudicial killings, war crimes and crimes against humanity, a federal judge ruled. In a multidistrict litigation, the plaintiffs accused Chiquita Brands International and Chiquita Fresh North America of complicity in hundreds of deaths because of its direct and indirect payments to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (known by its Spanish abbreviation AUC)...Chiquita argued that the court's ruling on the terrorism-related claims disposed of the plaintiffs' remaining ATS [Alien Tort Statute] claims. The court rebuffed the argument...The order adds that "the fact that Chiquita may not have had a military objective of its own, or that it was motivated by financial gain, is not dispositive. A 'lack of motive does not negate intent to assist the underlying acts that may be war crimes.'"