Chiquita Banana has sued the Securities and Exchange Commission to block the release of documents related to the payments the company made to a terrorist group in Columbia. The company already paid the Justice Department $25 million in 2007 after admitting it gave Columbian paramilitary groups more than $1.7 million to protect its workers, it says. However, now a lawsuit by thousands of Columbians who claim their relatives were killed by the paramilitary group has sued in Federal Court and allege that the paramilitary group was really paid to keep labor unions from the banana fields and brutalized workers.
Chiquita supplied the documents to the SEC in connection with the payments. In 2007 the National Security Archive published thousands of documents from the company showing how the company and the paramilitary groups had a mutually beneficial relationship. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.