Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz

Monday, September 26 de 2016
 

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The letter of CONPAZ communities to multinational Chiquita Brands

Monday 29 September 2014

All the versions of this article: [English] [Español]

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We are the coalition of Communities Constructing Peace in the Territories- CONPAZ-for fourteen years representing 110 community processes from diverse regions of Colombia that have been victims of the dispossession of our land, assassinations, disappearances, torture, extrajudicial killings and the internal armed conflict that has bled the country’s countryside.

Colombia, September 25, 2014


Dear Chiquita Brands shareholders:

Please accept our cordial greeting.

Currently, as victims of the armed conflict from which we have declared our separation and commitment to non-violence, we are making proposals for the construction of a lasting peace in our country, within the context of the peace dialogues that are ongoing between the Colombian government and the Farc and Eln guerrillas, initiatives that include proposals that interact with private actors.

We are aware that as shareholders you seek for the company to increase its assets and assume best practices and corporate responsibility principles, and more so, at this juncture when the question of the company merging with either the Irish Fyffes or Brazilian Cutrale and Safra Groups is being defined.

Within this context, we have a moral obligation to raise for your consideration, as women and men, and many of you as believers in God, like ourselves, the manner in which the company with which you partner has intervened in our lives and our territories.

We submit for your consideration the following occurrences that involve Chiquita Brands:
• At the end of 1996, delegates from your company met with the highest paramilitary commander, Carlos Castano, in the city of Medellin, within Antioquia province, Colombia. The interview took place with Irving Bernal, today jailed for paramilitarism, serving as the mediator to the banana company, and there it was decided the sum that Chiquita Brands would deliver to paramilitary groups in order to guarantee protections on plantations in the Uraba region.
In 2009, on trial before the Florida State Court, some Chiquita Brands associates shared the
information about payments put forth from 1999 to 2004, a time period when the paramilitary
Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, AUC, were on the Department of State list of terrorists
groups.

• Similarly, on November 5, 2001, it became publicly known that a shipment of 3,400 AK 47 rifles and 5 million ammunitions destined for paramilitaries were transported in the Waterterloo barge and unloaded in Port Zungo, Carepa municipality, Antioquia. Chiquita Brands’ port was the only private port in the country at this time, being part of the free trade zone that operated for the loading and unloading of merchandise. As such, the company facilitated arms trafficking.

• The companies from which Chiquita Brands has bought and possibly still buys its fruit and with which it has advanced diverse types of business transactions, like Uniban and Banacol, are implicated in denouncements for providing economic support to paramilitary groups and currently, against orders from the Constitutional Court, are advancing operations to promote crops and buy plantain in territory collectively held by victimized communities who were displaced and dispossessed from Curvarado, Jiguamiando, Pedeguita y Mansilla, and La Larga Tumarado. This totally illegal use of farmer property was suffered after more than 160 members of these communities were killed or displaced and 150 crimes at the hands of paramilitary and military actors, and 10 at the hands of FARC guerrillas were committed.

The illegal armed protection paid for by Chiquita Brands, its facilitation of weapons unloading, and its persistent relationship with companies connected to paramilitaries, made possible the destruction of our lives with violations of our human rights and territorial rights with environmental damage. As a result, any of the companies that acquire your company will assume historical responsibility including, the company’s negative image and judicial responsibilities.

However, appealing to your conscience and also to the [the principles] of corporate social responsibility, we propose the following to shareholders:

• Given the recognition of responsibility for financing terrorist groups that led to the payment of a 25 million dollar fine in the United States, we solicit that there be public recognition of the responsibility of the company for the crimes that its sponsorship of paramilitary structures brought to our communities. To date, this fine was paid in your country, but it has not been recognized that this sponsorship resulted in the destruction of our lives, of our community fabric, and the dispossession of our lands. We are not soliciting economic reparations, we are asking for public recognition of responsibility communicated through the media, in which the moral and material damage caused us is spoken of.

• We solicit that the companies Fyffes, Cultrale and Safra make a public declaration that in its business in Colombia it will voluntarily assume the United Nations principles on human rights and transnational companies for the protection of the rights to territory, truth, and justice, to integral reparations, and to a healthy environment where it will conduct operations; and that they declare if they are committed or not to collaborating, with all the resources within its reach, in the investigation, clarification, and sanction of those responsible for involving Chiquita Brands with paramilitaries in our country.

• In the event that many of you, as investors, were not aware of the actions of Chiquita Brands directors implicated in the events mentioned, we ask that you send a letter to the National Attorney General of Colombia, Eduardo Montealegre, imploring him to accelerate the investigations that are ongoing about the intervention of Chiquita Brands, Banacol, Uniban and other banana companies, so that the responsibility of individuals tied to the crimes and displacements provoked by the economic support that the company made to paramilitary groups in our country can be clarified and sanctioned.

We are most grateful that our considerations be taken into account in this decisive moment in the history of the company.

Sincerely,

Communities Constructing Peace in the Territories -CONPAZ-
comunidadesconstruyendopaz@gmail.com

• Asociación Agroecológica Esther Cayapú, ASOESCA, Trujillo, Valle.
• Asociación Agroecológica de familiares de víctimas de Playa Rica – ASAVIP – Trujillo, Valle.
• Asociación Agroecológica Koinonía – ASOKOINONÍA, Trujillo, Valle.
• Asociación Campesina Bien Andante, Sucre, Cauca
• Asociación Campesina Agroecológica Huerto Renacer, Sucre, Cauca.
• Asociación Campesina en la memoria de Dumar Aljure, Mapiripán, Meta.
• Asociación Consejo Regional del Pueblo Nasa del Putumayo-KWE’SX KSXA’W constituido por:
• RESG. KIWNAS ÇXHAB (ALTO LORENZO), Puerto Asís.
• RESG. NASA ÇXHAB, Puerto Asís.
• CABILDO KSXA’W NASA (ALTO DANUBIO), Puerto Asís.
• CABILDO SA’T TAMA, Puerto Asís.
• CABILDO KWE’SX KIWE, Puerto Asís.
• CABILDO NASA FXI’W (LA LIBERTAD), Puerto Asís.
• CABILDO KIWE NXUSXA (LAS DELICIAS), Puerto Asís.
• CABILDO YU’ LUUÇX - LAS MINAS, Puerto Asís.
• CABILDO YU’KH ZXIÇXKWE (SELVA HERMOSA), Puerto Caicedo.
• CABILDO KIWE U’KWE, Puerto Caicedo.
• CABILDO KWE’SX TATA WALA, Puerto Caicedo.
• CABILDO PKID KIWE (LOS GUAYABALES), Puerto Caicedo.
• CABILDO KWE’SX NASA ÇXAYU’ÇE (ALTO COQUETO) Puerto Caicedo.
• CABILDO YU’ ÇXIHME (EL LIBANO), Puerto Caicedo.
• RESG. SEK KAANXI THÄ’ KIWE ALPES ORIENTALES-LA FLORESTA-ALTO COQUETO, Constituido por las comunidades:
• SEK KAANXI THÄ’ KIWE, Puerto Caicedo
• KITE KIWE, Puerto Caicedo
• CAMPO ALEGRE, Villagarzón
• SANTA ROSA DE JUANAMBU, Villagarzón
• CABILDO ÇXHAB WALA, Villagarzón.
• CABILDO THÄ’ TADX KIWE (LOMA REDONDA), Villagarzón.
• CABILDO ALTO SINAI, Villagarzón.
• RESG. JERUSALEN, SAN LUIS ALTO PICUDITO, Constituido por las comunidades:
• JERUSALÉN, Villagarzón.
• SAN LUIS ALTO PICUDITO, Villagarzón.
• CABILDO JUAN TAMA, Puerto Guzmán.
• MÜHM KIWE (LOS GUADUALES), Puerto Guzmán.
• RESG. JXKASE KIWE (EL DESCANSO), Puerto Guzmán.
• CABILDO CERRO GUADUA, Puerto Guzmán.
• RESG. YU’ UKWE KIWE (AGUADITAS), Puerto Guzmán.
• RESG. TXITX UKWE KIWE (PORVENIR – LA BARRIALOSA), Puerto Guzmán.
• RESG. LA FLORIDA, Mocoa.
• CABILDO KJWEN TAMA LUUÇXWE’SX (HIJOS DE JUAN TAMA), Mocoa.
• RESG. NASA UH(LOS GAVILANES), Jardines de Sucumbíos, Ipiales Nariño.
• CABILDO KWE’SX KIWE, Orito.
• CABILDO NASA TKUYMATEWE’SX, Orito.
• CABILDO ALTO SUSPISACHA, Piamonte – Cauca.
• CABILDO KIWE ZXIÇXKWE (TIERRA LINDA), Valle del Guamuéz.
• CABILDO KIWE U’SE (NUEVA PALESTINA), Valle del Guamuéz.
• CABILDO NASA KIWE, Puerto Leguízamo.

ZONA DE RESERVA CAMPESINA REPRESENTADA POR LA Asociación de Desarrollo Integral Sostenible Perla Amazónica “ADISPA”, Puerto Asís Putumayo, constituida por:
• Juventud Raíces de Dignidad. Perla Amazónica “JURADIPA”.
• Mujeres Semilleros de Paz, Vereda La Piña.

22 Juntas de Acción Comunal:
• Puerto Playa.
• Guadalupe.
• Toayá.
• Bajo Cuembí.
• Agualongo.
• Angosturas.
• Camios.
• Chufiyá.
• Belén
• Buen Samaritano
• Comandante
• La Rosa
• Sevilla
• Bajo Mansoyá
• Baldío
• Bocana del Cuembí
• La Piña.
• La Frontera.
• La Española.
• Bajo Lorenzó.
• San Salvador.
• La Juvenil.

• Asociación de Familias víctimas de desplazamiento forzado de Argelia, Cauca.
• Asociación de Familias víctimas de ejecuciones extrajudiciales “Sembradores de Paz”, San Antonio, Inza, Cauca.
• Asociación de Productores Campesinos, (ASOPROC) Zona Bananera Magdalena.
• Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (ASOTRACAMPO), Galapa – Atlántico.
• Asociación de Víctimas de la Violencia de Rio Sucio, CLAMORES, Municipio de Turbo, Antioquia.
• Comunidad Civil de Vida y Paz, CIVIPAZ, municipio de El Castillo, Meta.
• Comunidad de Vida y Trabajo “La Balsita”, municipio de Dabeiba, Antioquia.
• Comunidades de Autodeterminación Vida y Dignidad, CAVIDA, municipio Riosucio, Chocó.
• Comunidades de Santa Rosa del Limón y Vigía del Curvaradó, Carmen del Darién, Chocó.
• Consejo Comunitario del Río Naya.
• Consejo Comunitario del Río Jiguamiandó.
• Consejo Comunitario La Gloria, Buenaventura.
• Consejo Comunitario La esperanza, Buenaventura.
• Espacio Humanitario Puente Nayero, La Playita-Buenaventura.
• Familia Martínez, Finca la Alemania, municipio de San Onofre, Sucre.
• Familia Mausa, Blanquicet y Municipio Carmen de Bolívar, Bolívar.
• Familias de los Consejos Comunitarios que habitan en Zonas Humanitarias y Zonas de Biodiversidad de Curvaradó y Jiguamiandó, municipio Carmen del Darién, Chocó.
• Familias del Consejo Comunitario de Bijao, Onofre en Pedeguita y Mansilla.
• Familias del Consejo Comunitario La Caucana, Buenaventura.
• Familias del Consejo Comunitario de Nueva Unión en Pedeguita y Mansilla.
• Familiares de Fredy Mosquera, ejecutado extrajudicialmente, cauca.
• Fundación de Desplazados y Personas Vulnerables(FUNDAPAD) Zona Bananera – Magdalena.
• Resguardo Humanitario Ambiental – Urada Jiguamiandó, So Bia Drua, Pueblo Embera, municipio Carmen del Darién, Chocó.
• Resguardo Humanitario y Biodiverso Santa Rosa Guayacán Pueblo Nonam, Buenaventura, Valle.
• Zonas de Biodiversidad “Grupo Porvenir”, Puerto Asís, Putumayo.
• Zona de Biodiversidad El Triunfo Ancurá-Putumayo
• Zona de Biodiversidad La Gurrera, Ancurá-Putumayo
• Zona de Biodiversidad Buenavista, Nariño
Zona de Biodiversidad, Pitalito Huila, Memoria desaparecidos.

 
Dirección: Carrera 37A No 25B-42, Bogotá D.C. Colombia Telefax: (57-1) 2687179 / 2687161
 
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