Relatives of terrorist victims sue Chiquita

by Staff
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FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. — A lawsuit on behalf of 50 relatives of 22 people killed by a Colombian terrorist group funded by Chiquita Brands International has been filed in U.S. District Court.

William J. Wichmann, an attorney with Conrad & Scherer LLP who is handling the case, said the deaths took place been 1997 and 2004 in the banana-growing region of Uraba in northwestern Colombia.

"We will be asking for significant compensatory and punitive damages for these tragic deaths caused by a terrorist group that Chiquita has admitted it financed," Mr. Wichmann said.

No hearing date has been set yet.

Earlier this month, another suit was filed in Washington saying 10 unnamed Chiquita employees and a Colombian subsidiary aided terrorist forces who were responsible for 144 murders.

Chiquita entered a plea agreement in March with the U.S. Department of Justice agreeing to pay a $25 million fine for paying off terrorist organizations in Colombia. A U.S. statute outlaws making payments to such organizations.

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