This should make you choke on your Banana
March 15, 2007 3:40 AM   Subscribe

Chiquita will plead guilty to a count of doing business with a paramilitary group in Colombia. Mefites might remember Chiquita from here. In Colombia they are not the only brand to have been on "Trial". Chiquita is not new to controversy. If you are choking on your banana co-op america might interest you.
posted by adamvasco (24 comments total)
Chiquita Charged in Terror Investigation, to be less diplomatic, criminal assholes. Thanks, av.
posted by toma at 4:09 AM on March 15, 2007

Coca-cola, similarly.
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:16 AM on March 15, 2007

Banana republic indeed. Huge multinational corporations should start being dismantled. Broken up. And held much more accountable to the citizenry as a whole, not just their major stockholders. They already have far, far too much power, and I've got a feeling we ain't seen nothing yet.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:52 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]

Ring-ring-ring, banana fine.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:07 AM on March 15, 2007 [4 favorites]

I blame Chávez
posted by magullo at 5:16 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

See Shell in Nigeria, United Fruit/Chiquita in Honduras, or even Blackwater paying Pinochet's ex-enforcers in Iraq.

I only wish the current revelations shocked me.
posted by jaduncan at 5:29 AM on March 15, 2007

This is actually a reversal of the standard fruit company multinational stereotype. While the Coke case seems to be one of hiring organized thugs to terrorize union leaders, the Chiquita case is being described as extortion payments.

The fact that the U.S. is trying Chiquita makes the question much more complicated, since the U.S. Government has itself supported paramilitaries, and since the stereotype is usually that the fruit companies are in collusion with the government against left-wing reforms. Here, according to the BBC, Chiquita is in the wrong for funding paramilitary left-wing groups.

Oh the tangles!
posted by honest knave at 5:31 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Sounds like they were just paying taxes to a different boss.
posted by chlorus at 5:55 AM on March 15, 2007

Well, if Chiquita had supported the correct paramilitary groups, then they'd be getting tax breaks and not court dates.

Wow, I feel bad about that one.
posted by Talanvor at 5:56 AM on March 15, 2007

daylight come and I wanna go home
posted by nofundy at 6:04 AM on March 15, 2007

Reasonable behaviour for a business. What should they have done? Closed up shop? Hired a security force? Holy fuckwad I'm outraged.
posted by econous at 6:24 AM on March 15, 2007

Hey mister tally man, tally me death.
posted by breezeway at 6:27 AM on March 15, 2007

honest knave AUC = Right wing Paramilitaries; FARC = Marxist guerillas. They are both a bunch of mudering bastards.
Google FARC + massacre = 185,000 hits. AUC + massacre = 63,000
posted by adamvasco at 6:32 AM on March 15, 2007

I just want 'Ted' and robocop to know I love them. And that I'm feeling awfully bizarre holding my banana right now.

They did close up operations in that country in 2004, no? So maybe my banana has not supported any coups? I hope?

(eats banana quietly)
posted by cavalier at 7:00 AM on March 15, 2007

What's more important?

The War On Terror, or cheap bananas for breakfast?

I'm low on potassium, too.
posted by Balisong at 7:08 AM on March 15, 2007

Chiquita Banana on de floor
watch the mercenaries slide right out the door...
posted by jonmc at 7:40 AM on March 15, 2007

This is why I buy only Standard Fruit & Steamship Company bananas.
posted by fidelity at 7:45 AM on March 15, 2007

If you were willing to pay for air shipping your bananas, I bet they would taste better.
posted by smackfu at 7:57 AM on March 15, 2007

Weird. This doesn't seem to bad, actually. They were basically paying the paramilitaries to protect rather than kill their employees.

I suspect Chiquita is guilty of far greater crimes.
posted by koeselitz at 10:07 AM on March 15, 2007

I hear union bananas taste like cavendish.

Yes, Chiquita and others are and have historically been guilty of far worse. Not that they get a free ticket for this because of their dark past/present.
posted by nofundy at 10:35 AM on March 15, 2007

Mefites might remember Chiquita from here. my case here, though perhaps not quite so anciently.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:42 AM on March 15, 2007

Bacardi also is no stranger to funding terrorist groups.
posted by JJ86 at 11:28 AM on March 15, 2007

I know this is going to sound really crazy, but I had a dream on the weekend that sounds like it was lifted straight out of this news article. It's especially weird because outside of 100 Years of Solitude, I have not been hearing about or following anything at all regarding Coca-cola or Chiquita. My dream was set in Colombia, too.

I wrote about it on my blog the morning I woke up. You can read it in full on my site, but here's the pertinent section:

There are crates of bananas on the floor, with a banana company’s logo. The company is called Bana-banana, but it has a similar corporate presence to Coca-Cola or Chiquita. The company has some sort of role in this story, and I understand that this company is the oppressor, the captor, but simultaneously the supplier of the bananas which keep these people alive and grateful for it.

“How does this company feel about being such a villainized part of the story?” I ask the producer.

“They know they have to accept it,” replies the producer. “It’s part of the Story.”

Is it just me, or is that a pretty creepy coincidence?

posted by Milkman Dan at 2:12 PM on March 15, 2007

Metafilter: I'm feeling awfully bizarre holding my banana right now.

I know, I know, I couldn't resist that one.
posted by IronLizard at 8:27 PM on March 15, 2007

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