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Settlement reached in Chiquita case involving U.S. deaths

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 5, 2018

This undated photo provided by Leslie Cork shows Tania Julin in Winter Springs, Fla. Julin's husband was kidnapped on Jan. 31, 1993 in the village of Pucuro, Panama, about 15 miles from the Colombian border. (Associated Press)
This undated photo provided by Leslie Cork shows Tania Julin in Winter Springs, Fla. Julin's husband was kidnapped on Jan. 31, 1993 in the village of Pucuro, Panama, about 15 miles from the Colombian border. (Associated Press)
By Curt Anderson Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Court records show a settlement has been reached in lawsuits filed against banana giant Chiquita Brands International by the families of six Americans kidnapped and killed in Colombia during the 1990s by the FARC terrorist organization.

A notice of settlement was filed Monday just as jury selection was to begin for trial in West Palm Beach federal court. Terms of the settlement haven’t been disclosed.

The lawsuits accuse Chiquita of violating the Anti-Terrorism Act by paying FARC about $220,000 over nearly a decade, making the company liable for damages for the Americans’ deaths because of the financial support to a terrorist group.

Chiquita says it paid FARC to protect its banana operation employees and interests from violence.

FARC is the Spanish acronym for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

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