Take physic, pomp

Not just bananas in that republic

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Up in the northern and northeastern parts of Colombia, the cocaine trade is run by both far left and far right groups. The best known of the bunch is of course the leftwing FARC insurgents, but equally as nasty (though kind of ignored by the national gov’t…who knows why?) are far rightwingers such as the Aguilas Negras (Black Eagles).

However not all their revenues come from Colombian marching powder, as both sides in this particularly dirty war are adept at extorsion and racketeering, too. The big export brand of Chiquita Banana made headlines and got into trouble a while back for admitting that it had paid protection money to right wing paramilitary groups, but well worth a read is this new story from Colombia Reports that makes it clear just how pervasive the protection racket is in provincial Colombia. Here’s an extract from the report:

  • So far, Chiquita Brands is the only multinational company that admitted paying the AUC. Other companies deny having paid the paramilitaries, despite the growing number of testimonies of paramilitary warlords who say the opposite.

But be advised here that it’s not just the banana growers that suffer under this weight, so if you are invested any companies currently operating in the region, perhaps a quiet mail to their IR department on this matter would be in order. Just so you have your back covered on the issue. Yeah?

DYODD. I really mean it this time.

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