The Banana Land Campaign
“My men were contacted on a regular basis by Chiquita or Dole administrators to respond to a criminal act or address some other problems. We would also get calls from the Chiquita and Dole plantations identifying specific people as “security problems” or just “problems.” Everyone knew that this meant we were to execute the identified person. In most cases, those executed were union leaders or members or individuals seeking to hold or reclaim land that Dole or Chiquita wanted for banana cultivation, and the Dole or Chiquita administrators would report to the AUC that these individuals were suspected guerillas or criminals.” –Carlos Tijeras, 2009
For Immediate Release: (New York City, NY)
December 6th, 2009 will mark the launch of the Banana Land Campaign at the Harlem School of The Arts on Sunday, December 6th, 2009 at 6:30 pm. This event will provide new details regarding payments made to a Colombian terrorist organization by Chiquita and Dole. Speakers will include leaders from the Colombian community in NYC, filmmaker Jason Glaser, lawyer Terry Collingsworth and special guest Dan Koeppel, author of the book Banana.
The world’s largest producers of bananas, Chiquita (formerly United Fruit Company) and Dole, are in US courts defending themselves against allegations of payments made to AUC (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia) paramilitaries who murdered, displaced and maimed their workers in the interest of global business. The AUC was officially designated a terrorist organization by the US State Department in 2001.
Copies of a breakthrough declaration by former AUC Commander Carlos Tijeras will be available at the event. This affidavit provides definitive proof that Chiquita and Dole used the AUC, a designated terrorist organization, as a mercenary force that murdered thousands of innocent people in and around the banana plantations.
We are launching the Banana Land Campaign to build a bridge between the consumer and the Colombian communities affected by this continuing tragedy. By linking mothers with mothers and workers with workers the campaign will provide concrete information that will educate banana consumers in both their hearts and minds, inspiring them to make sure that justice is served in both US and Colombian courts and that meaningful reparations are made.