James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Colombian "Terror Threat"

I was disgusted when I heard that Chiquita was fined $25 million for the "crime" of protecting its employees in Colombia. Apparently, the right-wing paramilitary group they were paying protection money to is labeled a "terrorist" organization by the U.S. government.

It'd be one thing if Chiquita was paying off Al Qaeda. But how are these Colombian thugs a terror threat to the United States? Why should they be considered an enemy of the U.S.?

Don't such groups exist largely because of the political instability in Colombia caused by the U.S.'s War on Drugs? Weren't the dangers Chiquita's operations faced in Colombia a result, then, of U.S. policy?

Would it have been better if Chiquita let its employees get killed? Or if it ran crying to the U.S. government to protect its interests on the taxpayer's dime? Or if it hired its own mercenaries to fight back and create further instability in the region?

How is something that happens in Colombia a crime in America?

We should tell American citizens and businesses that if they want to travel or do business beyond U.S. boundaries, they do so at their own risk, and must be responsible for their own security. Just like Chiquita.

Maybe Chiquita is a big, bad, exploitive multinational corporation. Maybe it should be criticized for a number of things. But I don't see how they did anything wrong here.

1 comment:

  1. I guess it's kinda like the US Congress setting down steroid standards for a Dominican player with the Toronto Blue Jays.