Monday, March 19, 2007

Nice little plantation you've got here

And Chiquita thought it would have been a shame to have anything happen to it, so they paid protection money:

WASHINGTON — Banana company Chiquita Brands International admitted in federal court today that, for years, it paid terrorists to protect its Colombian banana-growing operations.
The company pleaded guilty to one count of doing business with a terrorist organization. ....

Prosecutors say the Cincinnati-based company and several unnamed high-ranking corporate officers agreed to pay about $1.7 million between 1997 and 2004 to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, known as AUC for its Spanish initials.

....Prosecutors said the company made the payments in exchange for protection for its workers.

....Chiquita stock has risen sharply since the deal was announced last week. Company shares were trading down 6 cents at $13.46 in midmorning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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