As I am on the grand jury of the United States and my goal is to discuss the case concerning Chiquita Brands International payments to the terrorists of the violent Columbian group, it’s my duty to find the right solution with regard to Mr. Hills who was responsible for the above mentioned situation. During the debates, several opinions are set forward by the grand jury in respect of this case.
It is concluded to charge Mr. Hills as he knew that it was against US policy to have dealings with terrorist organizations. Moreover, Roderick Hills as the head of Chiquita Brands International Inc.’s audit committee and the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission knew that his illegal actions to pay terrorists would be disclosed and he would be punished according to the law.
It is known that international terrorism is one of the most significant issues in our society. US government pays special attention to the development and implementation of the US anti-terrorist policy which includes diplomacy and international cooperation, military force and covert actions. That is why it was Mr. Hills’ mistake not to inform the US government of the terrorists’ requirements. If he had reported to the officials about such criminal actions of the terrorists in time, there would have been no problems because the terrorist group would have been neutralized by the US military forces.
The second opinion concerning the case mentioned in this paper is connected with another form of punishment. It is concluded that the company should have folded its operations in Columbia rather than make payments to the above mentioned terrorist organization. Therefore, it is necessary to fine the company $25 million. This form of punishment can lead to serious financial problems in the company. Moreover, in this case all the staff of the company can lose their work in Columbia. It will be very difficult for the company to pay such a heavy fine.
The third opinion concerning the case of Chiquita Brands International payments to the terrorists is not based on the implementation of severe legal actions but it is focused on morality, ethics and humanity of the head of Chiquita Brands International Inc.’ s audit commission, Mr. Hills. Being in charge of the company’s audit committee during the time of the payments to the terrorist group, Mr. Hills managed to cope with the problem without anybody’s help.
As this paramilitary organization threatened to kidnap and kill those employees who worked on banana farms of Chiquita’s Columbian subsidiary, Mr. Hills actions to meet the requirements of the terrorists were correct. He could prevent a large number of killings of the employees and at the same time the firm continued to deliver products to the customers. It is known that Chiquita ultimately paid $1.7 million over seven years. Of course, it is a rather large sum of money which inflicted considerable financial losses to the company. However, Mr. Hills made everything possible to continue effective business of the company. Moreover, those employees who worked on the banana farms received good salaries and were satisfied with their working conditions. In other words, the problems with payments to the terrorist group did not influence the employees’ productivity and their social life.
From all has been said it follows that Mr. Hills, as the head of the audit commission and the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, saved the lives of hundreds of employees who worked for Chiquita Brands International in Columbia. That is why he cannot be charged. His actions were based on humanity and morality. It is known that Mr. Hills and his executives viewed these expense payments as “security payments”ť because they saved the lives of all the employees who worked on the banana farms in Columbia. It means that the families of these employees should be grateful to Mr. Hills and other executives who confirmed his decision to make regular payments to the terrorist group. Moreover, Mr. Hills fully disclosed the company’s actions to the US authorities. This fact also plays an important role in the process of making lawful sentencing.
The forth opinion concerning the case of Mr. Hills and Chiquita Brands International Inc.’s payments to the terrorist group is the most severe one as it includes three forms of punishment. As a member of the grand jury of the United States, I completely uphold this opinion. It is necessary to charge Mr. Hills and all other executives who were involved in these illegal actions. Moreover, it is necessary to shut down the company, to fire all the employees and to fine the company $25 million. This case shows that not all the people are aware of the necessity to stop terrorist actions. Mr. Hills thought only about the company’s profit when he decided to make payments to a violent Columbian group that was considered to be a terrorist group by the US government.
It is known that prior the attacks of September 11, 2001, there were no any anti-terrorism policy in the USA. Today, a lot of work has already been done to prevent terrorist actions. Special anti-terrorist programs are developed and implemented throughout the country. So, it is not clear why Mr. Hills ignored these facts and agreed to make regular payments to the Columbian group. He did not think about the consequences of his decision. He was not interested in the intentions of those violent people who threatened to kidnap and kill the employees of Chiquita Brands International. Of course, their intentions were cruel. Nobody knows how they used the money which was paid by Mr. Hills and his accountants. May be they bought weapons to organize terrorist acts and to kill other people.
It is obvious that Mr. Hills should be charged according to the US law as well as other executives who were fully acquainted with the situation. They not only ignored the seriousness of the situation, but also they ignored the US foreign policy. It is known that George Bush said: “either you are with us or with the terrorists”ť. It means that all the people in the world should fight terrorism and inform the authorities of any terrorist act. Today, all the countries of the world fight against terrorism, but the USA is considered to be the center of fighting against terrorism. All the citizens of the USA are deeply agitated about the US policy against terrorism. That is why it is clear that those people who deal with terrorists should be charged according to the law.