Chiquita Exec: Our Support for Terrorism Doesn’t Kill People
In an inevitable development, the families of people killed by FARC in Colombia are suing Chiquita for arming the terrorists. And in spite of the fact that the sentencing memorandum in their settlement with the government made it clear that Chiquita did support FARC from 1989 to 1997, Chiquita’s lawyer claims that the company’s support for terrorists had nothing to do with the effects–including murders–of that terrorism.
Chiquita officials disagree. In a telephone interview, Mr. Loyd said that the lawsuit’s assertion that Chiquita armed FARC rebels was “categorically untrue” and that the company would “vigorously defend” itself against the accusations.
Gary Osen, one of several lawyers for the plaintiffs, said his clients’ lawsuit — along with at least four others accusing Chiquita of complicity in killings carried out by the rebel groups — would be brought under the civil provision of the antiterrorism law.
The law states that any United States national “injured in his or her person, property, or business by reason of an act of international terrorism” can sue for damages in any appropriate federal court “and shall recover threefold the damages he or she sustains and the cost of the suit, including attorney’s fees.”
He said Chiquita was just one of many companies doing business in Colombia that paid “protection money” to rebel groups, the price of doing business in a notoriously violent country.
Ms. Julin said she and the others who lost their husbands to FARC do not see it that way.
“Chiquita was there to make money and fund these people,” she said. “How could anybody be involved in something like this without regard to the human lives lost?”
This (and the others associated with it) will be an interesting suit. I look forward to the executives who knowingly supported terrorism for over a decade arguing that support for terrorists is just a business expense.
Update: Terrorisms changed to terrorists per Frank Probst.
Update: I think Hugh’s auditioning to be Chiquita’s spokesperson.
It’s not bananas that kill people. It’s people with bananas that do.