bush administration suppports right-wing paramilitaries

From DN! 

Chiquita: Bush Admin Didn’t Object to Colombia Militia Payments
The fruit giant Chiquita International is claiming it failed to stop illegally paying right-wing Colombia militias because the Bush administration never responded to the company’s admission that it was making the payments. Earlier this year, Chiquita agreed to pay a twenty-five million dollar fine for making $1.7 million in payments to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia — considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. But Chiquita now says those payments may have had at least the tacit approval of the Bush administration. The Washington Post reports a Chiquita board member met with Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff in April 2003 while Chertoff was at the Justice Department. The board member, Roderick Hills, reportedly told Chertoff that Chiquita knew the payments were illegal but would have to end operations in Colombia if it stopped making them. Several sources say Chertoff agreed that the payments were illegal — but agreed that the situation was “complicated.” Chertoff advised Hills to wait for more feedback before taking action. Chiquita says the feedback never came, and that it left the meeting with the message the Bush administration did not object to the payments. Chiquita kept making payments for nearly another year.

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