Chiquita Banana

3079 words 13 pages
What is the responsibility of a business or corporation? Is it to meet stakeholder expectations and follow legal guidelines, or is there a higher responsibility? While Milton Friedman asserted in his famous essay that “the social responsibility of a business is to increase profits,” it can be argued that companies also have higher moral responsibilities. The question in each ethical dilemma is, “To whom do we have a moral responsibility?”

In this module, we will analyze the Chiquita Banana terrorism case and apply legal, ethical, and international perspectives, as well as analyze the managerial and public policy implications of Chiquita’s actions.

•Background - Chiquita Banana Terrorism Case
•Legal Perspectives
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However, the DOJ later reported that it had told Chiquita that “the payments are illegal and must stop.” Obviously, in the DOJ’s opinion, an order was made, however Chiquita did not believe that to be the case. In the end though, it seems that the judges sided with the DOJ when deciding how to punish Chiquita.
4.The obstruction of justice—As Chiquita self-reported the violations and was active afterwards, the obstruction of justice was not a major point in the legal case.
5.The existence of an effective compliance and ethics program—Although public companies are required to have ethics programs under the 2002 Sarbannes-Oxley legislation, the presence of one at Chiquita did not figure much into the sentencing that it received.
6.Self-Reporting, Cooperation, or Acceptance of Responsibility—There is some ambiguity in regards to this factor. The SCL would argue that Chiquita’s sentence should be lighter due to the fact that they reported themselves. On the other hand, in the Department of Justice’s opinion, by continuing to make the payments to AUC, Chiquita was not cooperating or accepting responsibility.

Ultimately, the determinations of the SLC were just recommendations whereas it was the court’s ruling that stuck. As part of a plea deal, Chiquita was charged with one count of knowingly “Engaging in Transactions with a Specially Designated Terrorist Group” and ordered to pay a $25 million fine. In its ruling, the court


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