U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra ruled against Chiquita’s motion to dismiss a civil suit for violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1991, brought by the families of missionaries murdered in the mid 1990’s by the Marxist group, the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC). The Ohio-based company held hundreds of banana plantations in Colombia prior to 2007, and according to court records, paid monthly bribes to FARC of $20,000 to $100,000 and ultimately 10% of Chiquita’s gross earnings from Colombia. Chiquita pleaded guilty in 2007 to violating anti-terrorism laws by paying bribes to the right wing terrorist group, United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), which according to the U.S. Justice Department, totaled $1.7 million. In that case, Chiquita also acknowledged payments to FARC during a period between 1989 and 1997. The families of the victims allege that not only was this money a bribe, but Chiquita also provided FARC with weapons and material support, and used FARC to protect Chiquita’s Colombian enterprises.
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