Chiquita to pay $25 million to settle terrorism probe - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Chiquita to pay $25 million to settle terrorism probe

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Chiquita Brands International says it's agreed to a 25 (m) million-dollar fine after admitting it paid a Colombian terrorist group for protection in a volatile farming region.

Federal prosecutors say several unnamed high-ranking corporate officers of the banana company paid about about one-point-seven (m) million dollars between 1997 and 2004 to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia.

The right-wing group was designated by the U-S government as a terrorist outfit in September 2001. It's been responsible for some of the worst massacres in Colombia's civil conflict and for a sizable percentage of the country's cocaine exports. Prosecutors say Chiquita also made similar payments to the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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