Edited by Harry W. Richardson, Peter Gordon and James E. Moore II
Chapter 8: Dancing with Wolves: Avoiding Transnational Corporation Interactions with Terrorist Groups
Dean C. Alexander INTRODUCTION US-headquartered Chiquita Brands International (CBI) admitted in 2007 engaging in transactions with Colombian terrorist groups. The case provides an example of how unintended interactions may arise between transnational companies and terror groups based in host countries. This chapter provides an analysis of the CBI case and sheds light on the challenges transnational corporations (TNCs) face in doing business in politically unstable environs. It addresses the disparate steps global firms may pursue should they face similar circumstances. The chapter then analyzes the multifaceted implications of such interactions for TNCs, and various alternatives firms may undertake. The chapter concludes that terrorist activity injects another layer of complexity that TNCs must contend with while doing business abroad. CHIQUITA BRANDS INTERNATIONAL CASE Background and US Government Investigation of CBI By all accounts, CBI is an important transnational corporation: a New York Stock Exchange-listed ‘international marketer and distributor of high-quality fresh and value-added food products – from energy-rich bananas and other fruits to nutritious blends of convenient green salads’, with $4.5 billion in annual revenues. ‘The company markets its products under the Chiquita and Fresh Express premium brands and other related trademarks. Chiquita employs approximately 25,000 people operating in more than 70 countries worldwide’, including Colombia. (Chiquita, 2007a). 136 Dancing with wolves 137 For over six years – from 1997 to 4 February 2004 – CBI paid Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) extortion funds in two bananaproducing regions of Colombia, Uraba and Santa Maria. The hundredplus payments, made by CBI’s Colombian subsidiary, Banadex,...
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