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Chiquita ordered to pay $39MM to families of paramilitary victims


Fort Lauderdale-based Chiquita Brands International was ordered to pay nearly $39 million to the families of eight men who were victims of a Colombian paramilitary group designated a terror organization.

The Florida jury in the civil case found Chiquita knowingly aided the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) and was responsible for the deaths of eight men killed by the AUC. The payments were “to a degree sufficient to create a foreseeable risk of harm,” according to Reuters coverage.

The victims included banana workers and “trade unionists,” according to the BBC.

The lawsuit was filed by the victims’ families following Chiquita pleading guilty to making the payments to the AUC in 2007.

Chiquita reportedly plans to appeal the verdict. According to the BBC, Chiquita argued it had “no choice but to pay the AUC to protect its Colombian employees from violence.”

Plaintiffs argued Chiquita paid the AUC to expand its presence in regions controlled by the group, which was named a terrorist organization in 2001.


Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.