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4/6/13

Chiquita Brands (CQB), going bananas to stop public disclosure of its ties to Colombia terrorism

Via Greg Weeks' twitterfeed, your humble scribe reads this report and passes it on via today's post.

Charlotte-based Chiquita sued the Securities and Exchange Commission, seeking to block the release of documents related to payments the company made to terrorist groups in Colombia to protect its banana-growing interests.
The company paid the Justice Department a $25-million fine in 2007, after admitting that it had given Colombian paramilitary groups the U.S. classifies as terrorist organizations more than $1.7 million. Chiquita has maintained that it was extorted by the groups and made the payments in an attempt to protect its workers.
But a lawsuit by thousands of Colombians who claim their relatives were killed by the paramilitary groups is still working its way through federal court in Florida. The plaintiffs allege the paramilitary groups helped keep labor unions out of the banana fields and brutalized workers.
Current and former employees of Chiquita and its former Colombian subsidiary Banadex are also facing a criminal investigation in Colombia related to the payments.
Chiquita’s newest legal action, filed Thursday in federal court in Washington, D.C., attempts to block the SEC from releasing continues here