Global Health Justice

June 11, 2024

Chiquita guilty of funding terrorists in Colombia

By Steve Gloyd, GHJ Team

A South Florida jury just found Chiquita Brands liable for killings by right-wing paramilitary death squads that the the company financed in their banana plantations. Chiquita, formerly the United Fruit Company (UFC),  has a long history of deadly repression against workers. The New Orleans-based multinational has long monopolized land and markets and controlled governments throughout Latin America. UFC was implicated in massacres in Colombia, the overthrow of democratically elected President Jacobo Arbens of Guatemala, and propped up many so-called “banana republics” throughout Latin America that were characterized by state repression, severely stratified social classes, and compliant local plutocracies. The exploitation and oppression fomented by UFC/Chiquita Brands has long been associated with persistent poverty, inequality, and violence in many countries of Latin America, major drivers of illness and high mortality rates.

Jorge Valencia in the New York Times and Brett Wilkins in Common Dreams tell the story. Image thanks to I.C.A.R.U.S. Inc.