US banana giant ordered to pay $38m to families of Colombian men killed by death squads

US banana giant ordered to pay $38m to families of Colombian men killed by death squads

Landmark verdict against Chiquita marks first time major US company held liable for funding human rights abuses abroad

A Florida court has ordered Chiquita Brands International to pay $38m to the families of eight Colombian men murdered by a paramilitary death squad, after the American banana giant was shown to have financed the terrorist organisation from 1997-2004.

The landmark ruling late on Monday came after 17 years of legal efforts and is the first time that the fruit multinational has paid out compensation to Colombian victims, opening the way for thousands of others to seek restitution.

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