Chiquita-Protection Payments

Companies watching federal investigation of Chiquita admission

Analysts say US companies will be watching a federal investigation into the Chiquita banana company's payments to groups the United States considers terrorist organizations. Chiquita Brands International revealed last week that it made the payments under pressure to ensure the safety of its workers in Columbia. The Cincinnati company wouldn't disclose details of the payments. The US Justice Department won't comment on its investigation. Georgetown University government professor Marc Chernick says Chiquita's admission was unusual for an American company. Chernick says the case could allow the Justice Department to warn US companies about giving any support to suspected terrorists. He says rebels in Columbia have pressured businesses through bombings, kidnappings and killings.