The patter of little lawsuits
Posted by Charles II on September 22, 2013
Curt Anderson of AP reports at HuffPo that Chiquita is facing lawsuits over its payments to a right-wing Colombian death squad, the AUC. Chiquita has admitted to paying $1.7 M to the AUC, which it called blackmail, and pled guilty to assisting terrorists. It is now facing civil actions in Florida. It has appealed to the 11th Circuit Court on the basis that the victims families can’t prove a connection between the payments and the murders. One would think that Chiquita’s best defense would be that it also made payments to the FARC, the people who the AUC was supposedly fighting while, in fact, terrorizing the entire population.
The 11th Circuit has previously ruled that a Bolivian Minister of Defense can’t be held liable for killings that resulted from his orders, issued on the battlefield, to fire at certain locations. You know, because pulling the trigger doesn’t necessarily mean that someone at where the gun is pointing is going to be wounded and perhaps die. Or whatever.
According to Telesur, the objective of the AUC violence, according to Raúl Emilio Hasbún alias Pedro Ponte o Pedro Bonito, was to displace local communities in areas where Chiquita wished to grow bananas.
It’s not like I expect any lawsuits against American corporations for their crimes to succeed in the present unjust judicial system, but perhaps, like the patter of raindrops on an autumn afternoon, they may awaken Americans to the dark side of our engagement in Latin America.
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