Campaigners want banana firm probed over Colombia war

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Campaigners on Thursday demanded the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate executives of a US banana firm over alleged links to crimes against humanity in Colombia's civil war.

The Human Rights Coalition "called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the complicity of executives at Chiquita Brands International in crimes against humanity," it said in a statement.

It said Chiquita paid a fine after admitting in 2007 having made payments to the AUC right-wing paramilitary group.

The paramilitaries were one of the sides in Colombia's decades-long, multifaceted civil war, active in banana-growing areas of the country.

But, according to the coalition, "no executive has been held to account despite the company's admission that it funneled millions of dollars to Colombian paramilitaries that killed, raped, and disappeared civilians."

It said it was filing a case "on behalf of affected Colombian communities" at the court to demand it investigate the company's links to crimes committed by the paramilitaries between 1997 and 2004.

The coalition consists of the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School, the International Federation for Human Rights and the Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers' Collective Corporation, a Colombian rights group.

Chiquita did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.


Chiquita Brands International