Carlos Holguin, Colombia`s justice and interior minister, felt different last week, according to Colombian radio. The plea “is not worthy of American justice because it conveys the idea that impunity can be bought for a few million dollars,” he told Bogotás Radio Caracol on Wednesday. March 13, 2007 – The U.S. Department of Justice has reached an agreement with Chiquita for payments to the AUC, a designated foreign terrorist organization. March 19, 2007 — Chiquita Brands International Inc., one of the world`s largest banana producers, pleaded guilty this morning to paying terrorist groups to ensure the security of its Colombian operations. In the Plea agreement, Chiquita agreed to pay a $25 million fine for knowingly making payments to guerrillas from 1997 to 2004. In March 2007, Chiquita pleaded guilty to violating the United States. Anti-terrorism laws by funding another Colombian terrorist organization, Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (Self-Defense of Colombia or AUC). (The FARC and UAC were officially considered by the U.S. State Department as foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) In its proffer factual to the Court of Justice, in conjunction with the Chiquitas Plea Agreement, the U.S. Department of Justice said it could prove that Chiquita made similar payments to the FARC from 1989 to 1997. Chiquita eventually paid a $25 million fine to the U.S. government as part of his admission of guilt.
As part of the plea, the company agreed to cooperate in the ongoing investigation. No one from Chiquita is charged at this stage. That of U.S. District Judge Royce C. The pleading agreement approved by Mr. Lamberth is planning a five-year trial period during which the company will be monitored and will have to continue working with the Department of Justice. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Banana giant Chiquita Brands International Inc. pleaded guilty on Monday to doing business with a terrorist organization for paying protection funds to Colombian paramilitaries between 2001 and 2004. WASHINGTON (CNN) — Chiquita Brands International has reached an agreement with federal authorities for dealing with a terrorist organization. During the seven-year period, Chiquita admitted to paying more than $1.7 million in “guarantees” to a paramilitary group through its subsidiary Banadex. The agreement established that Chiquita`s senior officials were aware of the payments, even after the U.S. declared the group a “foreign terrorist organization,” and Chiquita continued the payments, even after its independent external counsel indicated in writing that the company must “cease payments.” The company recently backed down its annual report to change an agreement with lenders after laying a charge in connection with the federal investigation.
3. Although the identity of the paramilitary leader, who first addressed the Banadex officials, is not revealed in the edited document, both the SLC report and the sentencing agreement confirm that it was Castaño who participated in the meeting and who personally requested that the company support the La Tagua Group. . . .