The Chiquita cases

The rights of victims of paramilitary violence in Colombia, who have sued Chiquita for financing terrorist death squads, will be affected by the outcome of the Kiobel case.

Chiquita, the banana company, has been convicted in the US on federal charges of illegally funding the AUC, a paramilitary terrorist group operating in Colombia's banana-growing region. Those paramilitaries killed thousands of innocent people, and Chiquita allegedly supported their operations, including assisting in the provision of arms, in order to help pacify the region and protect their plantations and, overall, enhance their profits - Chiquita's Colombian subsidiary was one of its most profitable. Several lawsuits have been filed asserting Alien Tort Statute claims on behalf of hundreds of victims, including the class action Doe v. Chiquita, all of which are being heard in federal court in Florida.

In 2011, the federal judge ruled that the ATS claims against Chiquita, including extrajudicial killing, torture, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, could proceed. The court found that the plaintiffs' complaints "contain sufficient factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that Chiquita assisted the AUC with the intent that the AUC commit torture and killing in the banana-growing regions."

Read more about Doe v. Chiquita on the website of EarthRights International or at the website of law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.

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