The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Chiquita Is Responsible for Murder

Jun 17, 2024

A Florida federal jury recently found the fruit giant Chiquita Brands guilty for paying a gang to murder farmers in Colombia between 1997 and 2004, so that Chiquita could buy their land at depressed values and further enlarge its business empire by converting plantain farms to more profitable banana farms. Previously, in 2007, Chiquita pleaded guilty to making payments to this Colombian gang, called the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, which is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S.

There are currently more than 5,000 such murder claims against Chiquita, showing the massiveness of terror this company waged against farmers and workers to protect its business empire.

In fact, Chiquita’s whole history and its financial success have rested on employing gangsters. In 1928, the United Fruit Company (now called Chiquita) was confronted with a strike by Colombian banana workers. The Colombian military ended this strike by massacring the strikers. A Chiquita official later reported that the U.S. ambassador wrote to his superiors in Washington: “I have the honor to report that the Bogota representative of the United Fruit Company told me yesterday that the total number of strikers killed by the Colombian military exceeded 1,000.” So, the U.S. government was also involved in this “honorable” act of murdering workers.

For larger and more violent operations, Chiquita, or its predecessor United Fruit, directly used U.S. armed organizations from the marines to the CIA and their regional military collaborators to overthrow governments. This was done so much that a term, “Banana Republic,” was coined to characterize their vile actions more than 100 years ago.

These court decisions against companies such as Chiquita, to pay for damages or fines for their murderous acts to get rich, are only a window dressing. These companies add such fines to their business expenses.