Banana Republics

This is interesting:

Victims of the bloody paramilitary conflict in Colombia are suing the US banana company Chiquita, accusing it of funding and arming guerrilla groups blamed for torture and thousands of killings.

The lawsuit, filed in New York, seeks $7.86 billion (£4 billion) on behalf of 393 victims and their relatives. They accuse Chiquita Brands of complicity in hundreds of murders carried out by the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia, a right-wing paramilitary group known by its Spanish acronym AUC.

No doubt the civil suits agains consumers of cocaine are in preparation: they have been, after al, responsible for similar funding, have they not?

6 comments on “Banana Republics

  1. Only because it’s a lot easier to sue one company than millions of consumers. But the principle is the same. And unfortunately cocaine importers tend to put themselves out of the reach of all law, criminal or civil. Thus it would be easier to sue consumers. Questions of evidence could be resolved by only suing those who had already been convicted of cocaine offenses.

  2. @ Stephen – no, I think the main reason US banana-eaters aren’t being sued is because there is no suggestion that they were knowingly complicit in the conspiracy to murder and torture people. Even if it were logistically possible to bring the case, it would be thrown out of court.

  3. So let me get this right. If a Banana company is faced with extortion and threats and pays up to protect the lives of their employees, they will then be sued in America for doing so? Way to go. When are we going to see victims of al-Qaeda and the Taliban sue the South Koreans, the Germans, the Italians and the French for paying out so much money to assorted kidnappers? Every relative of any military casualty in Iraq ought to take note. The Germans paid up. Sue the crap out of them!

  4. Aren’t governments that make cocaine illegal complicit in driving up prices, making the trade profitable? Sue them, too!

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