Colombian officials are continuing to investigate three Chiquita Brands officials suspected of involvement in the payment of paramilitary death squads in the name of the banana company. According to a report by Bogotá’s El Tiempo Dec. 7, Colombian prosecutors requested that the US Department of Justice notify Chiquita Brands executives John Paul Olivo, Charles Dennis Keiser and Dorn Robert Wenninnger that they are under investigation by the Colombian government for having financed paramilitary operations in the region of Urabá totaling $1.7 million between 1997-2004.
The investigation is based on payroll records from former paramilitary bosses Salvatore Mancuso, Raul Emilio Hasbun AKA “Pedro Bonito”, Ever Veloza AKA “HH” and Freddy Rendon AKA “El Aleman”. The company has two other cases pending and is facing charges of having bribed Colombian customs officials and trafficked one and a half tons of coca disguised as fruit cargo. (Colombia Reports, Dec. 7)