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U.S. Jury Orders Chiquita to Pay $38 Million to Families of Colombians Killed by Paramilitary Group

HeadlineJun 11, 2024
Image Credit: Reuters / Alberto Lowe

A federal jury in Florida has ordered Chiquita Brands International to pay over $38 million in damages to the families of eight Colombian men who were killed by paramilitaries that the banana giant funded. Chiquita previously pleaded guilty to paying the far-right United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia paramilitary group, or AUC, $1.7 million from 2001 to 2004, which Chiquita argued it did to protect its employees. The AUC has been found responsible for committing mass human rights abuses and murdering civilians from 1997 to 2006. EarthRights International, which helped represent the plaintiffs, said in a statement, “This verdict sends a powerful message to corporations everywhere: profiting from human rights abuses will not go unpunished. These families, victimized by armed groups and corporations, asserted their power and prevailed in the judicial process.”

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