Hostages Say Chiquita Funded Death Squads

I really don’t know what to say except for the title, so… here is the article. Uh, yeah. Hooray for capitalism! Just chalk this one down as another “worst corporation ever” story, along with all the other stories of people being murdered with US corporate moneys…

Former hostages of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) say Chiquita owes them treble damages under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, because the New Jersey-based company paid FARC up to $200,000 a year for 10 years.

In a March 2007 plea agreement, Chiquita admitted it had paid $25 million and funded the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) – a right-wing, anti-labor death squad – and other terrorist groups, according to the eight plaintiffs’ 82-page complaint.

The FARC and the AUC fought for control of land and lucrative cocaine crops for years, through open war, death squads and terror.

By helping FARC wrest control of local labor unions, Chiquita carved out “a competitive advantage over other banana growers facing less accommodating unions,” according to the complaint. Chiquita also allegedly benefited from FARC’s harassment of competitors in the region.

“Defendants knew that FARC engaged in acts of terrorism against U.S. interests in Colombia and knew the danger that providing material support to FARC would pose to the safety of other individuals and entities working within Colombia, but defendant ignored these risks in order to further their own narrow business interests in growing and exporting bananas in Colombia,” according to the complaint.

Here is another recent story of a corporation deliberately killing people, with comments by Kevin Carson.

Massey’s mountaintop removal operation was fined $50 million by West Virginia courts for polluting its neighbors. But hey, if you can afford to spend $3 million replacing an unfriendly justice with your own stooge, running attack ads (he “released sexual deviants”) that would make Lee Atwater or Karl Rove proud, those pesky fines are easy enough to deal with. (Blankenship was spotted in Monte Carlo a few months later partying with yet another buddy on the Supreme Court.) $3 million to buy a Supreme Court justice, to overturn a $50 million fine from a lower court — that’s what I call a pretty good return on your money. It reminds me of all those colorful stories about railroads buying legislators and Congressmen wholesale back in the Gilded Age.

Blankenship also opined, by the way, that it’s perfectly OK for elementary school kids to inhale coal dust from his operations while playing on school grounds. You see, Massey “already pays millions of dollars in taxes each year.” Ever see that episode of The Simpsons where a young Monty Burns ran down workers in the street for the sheer joy of crippling them, and then tossed money out the window?

Blankenship, it seems, is also a major corporate Tea Party sponsor, appearing at last year’s Labor Day Tea Party with the charming duo of Sean Hannity and Ted Nugent.

And to top it all off, here’s a story about how a biotech company almost wiped out the whole world.

How did the leading biotech researchers of the day not realize that they had engineered a bacterium that would kill all plant life it touched? Did they not test it on any, you know, plants?!

Well, for all intents and purposes: No, they didn’t.

One thought on “Hostages Say Chiquita Funded Death Squads

  1. […] contortions to justify inflicting a risk of harm on other people, such as prostitution, death squads and the horrible deaths of coal […]

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