Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Banana Corporations Funding Paramilitary Groups

Law Student Researches Controversy in Colombia
Teaching research, I appreciate the stories that NPR Latino USA presents because they address the different sides and arguments of a controversy. Unlike cable news, the ideological appeal is the judgment of the audience and not the impulsive reactions of pathos.

In Colombia, law student Paul Bieber interviews people injured and maimed in attacks by who the victims describe as guerrilla paramilitary groups used to enforce Dole and Chiquita corporate interests. The corporations and paramilitary groups claim the people have no right to the land. Recently deposed leaders of the paramilitary groups have testified to having been paid by the banana growers to act on their behalf. The corporations respond that in instances in which they have paid these groups, it was only done so for protection from the groups.

From the NPR website:

"Paul Bieber is a private investigator and law student in California. He has an abiding interest in the investigation of instances of human rights abuses. This summer, he went to Colombia on a 10-day fact-finding mission organized by Witness for Peace, the social justice organization based in Washington, D.C."
Listen to the full story at the NPR site, or listen to it at the Public Radio Workshop site:


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