Chiquita Brands, Colombia

Chiquita Brands enjoys impunity in spite of the fact it has been proved it has repeatedly remunerated paramilitary forces oppressing the local population.


Description

Chiquita Brands was initially the United Fruit Company, famous in Colombia for the massacre of workers in 1928 in Cienaga. Chiquita Brands International is now a leading international marketer and distributor of fresh food and related products. It is one of the largest banana distributors in the world and it has been operating in Colombia since last century. National and International labour, environmental and human rights protection advocates have denounced Chiquita Brands for its environmental, social and health impacts caused by the violation of the basic rights of banana plantations workers and the financing of paramilitary groups in order to suppress protest. Forjando Futuro is a foundation helping those dispossed. In 2012 it announced that there was an estimate of 19.5 USD million that Chiquita has paid paramilitary groups un Uraba but that the true figure acknowledged by the paramilitary themselves was 40 USD million. Among the paramilitary forces, the AUC, a terrorist group, was paid too by Chiquita Brands. There were several court cases opened in the United States and in Colombia against Chiquita Brands.

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Basic Data
NameChiquita Brands, Colombia
CountryColombia
ProvinceAntioquia and Magdalena
SiteUraba
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Land acquisition conflicts
Military installations
Specific CommoditiesFruits and Vegetables
Water
Land
Project Details and Actors
Project Area (in hectares)17000
Type of PopulationUnknown
Start Date28/11/2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesChiquita Brands International
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Colombia;, Armed Forces;
International and Financial InstitutionsOrganization of American States (OAS)
European Union (EU)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersLawyers collective “José Alvear Restrepo” (CCAJAR), Corporación Jurídica Libertad (CJL), Rainforest Alliance - USA, Fundación Ambio de Costa Rica, Tsuli Tsuli/Adubon - Colombia, Earth Right Internacional, Peuples Solidaires, Fundación Forjando Futuros
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginUNKNOWN
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Informal workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Forms of MobilizationBoycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Strikes
Boycotts of companies-products
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Air pollution, Desertification/Drought
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Criminalization of activists
Deaths
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Repression
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesIndemnities for displacement by paramilitary groups paid for by Chuqita, workers also demand a decent salary.

They are desperate about the stop of the use of pesticides in the cropping fields. They also want their land back, they don t want to continue being displaced.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Although these violations have led to judicial activism, no relevant court decisions have been given yet in favor of the affected population.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Convention 169 ILO

References

Chiquita en colombia, caso de estudio
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Links

Reapertura de caso Chiquita Brands enreda a seis empresas, El Tiempo, December 2012
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Chiquita sigue en Colombia, El Espectador
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Chiquita Brands trata de que no se difunda su vinculación con el paramilitarismo en Colombia, El Público, 16/05/2013
[click to view]

Chiquita Brands busca anular demandas de colombianos por apoyo a AUC, EL Pais, 21/09/2013
[click to view]

Esto no huele bien: el caso Chiquita, Semana, 31/03/2012
[click to view]

Los 'pecados' de Chiquita Brands, El Espectador, 10/12/2012
[click to view]

Chiquita lawsuits (re Colombia), Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
[click to view]

Lo que prueban los memorandos de Chiquita Brands , 11/04/2011
[click to view]

Crímenes de Chiquita Brands siguen impunes en Colombia, 22/06/2015
[click to view]

El gran traspié de Chiquita, A. Goodman, 25/07/2007
[click to view]

La Corte de EE.UU. desestima cargos contra Chiquita Brands por pago a paramilitares, el Pais, 24/07/2014
[click to view]

Corte de Estados Unidos rechaza demandas colombianas contra empresa Chiquita Brands, 20/04/2015 El Heraldo
[click to view]

Media Links

Las Victimas del Banano el Caso Chiquita 2 de 3, by Holman Morris
[click to view]

Las Victimas del Banano el Caso Chiquita 3 de 3, by Holman Morris
[click to view]

Las Victimas del Banano el Caso Chiquita 1 de 3, by Holman Morris
[click to view]

Other Documents

Chiquita Brands plantation in Colombia E Heraldo
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLucie Greyl & Joan Martinez Alier & Talia Waldron
Last update04/01/2016
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