Friday, September 16, 2011

Charlotte as banana republic

Chiquita is potentially looking to move its headquarters from Cincinnati, and Charlotte may be in the running. And so like many small Latin American governments, the city council is considering how much money to throw at Chiquita.

Charlotte council members debated the Chiquita proposal for more than an hour. The size of the incentives is believed to be larger than the typical city package, which concerned some elected officials.

Chiquita, of course, has been in the news because of lawsuits related to its payments to Colombian paramilitaries, which it acknowledges but claims were extortion. For all the truly depressing details, check out this report from the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. For the declassified documents, check out the National Security Archive, complete with Power Point presentations about "security payments."

I understand that bringing jobs to Charlotte is important, particularly in the context of Bank of America's cuts. This one, though, wouldn't be something to be very proud about.


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