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Chiquita should not have agreed to make payments to the terrorist group in order to protect its employees. The Colombian group has been responsible for making threats and murdering the local citizens and by Chiquita giving monetary payments the group continues to exist. Chiquita is supporting a group that has violently attacked citizens of Colombia. Not only does the company want to follow the ethical principle of promoting personal morality but also comply with legal requirements. The US government has declared the Colombian paramilitary group to be a terrorist organization and giving money to those kinds of groups is an illegal act. Even though the company may be protecting its own workers it may be doing harm to other innocent citizens. The company should not be supporting a group that has killed thousands. The four methods of ethical reasoning are virtue, utilitarian, rights, and justice. Virtue ethics focuses on character traits that a good person should possess and theorizes that moral values will direct a person toward good behavior. These moral values may direct a company to protect its employees but Chiquita should have acted in a more ethical way than paying a terrible organization.
Utilitarian ethics emphasizes utility or the overall amount of good than can be produced by an action or decision. In this case there are many bad consequences that could happen based on Chiquita’s decision, including the terrorist group growing and acquiring more weapons. Human rights ethics are the right that a person is granted such as life, freedom, and safety. Chiquita’s employees are granted those rights but so are the citizens of Columbia. Justice ethics would ask a company’s board of directors if the organization decision is fair or just. In this case Chiquita is not making a just decision by putting innocent lives at risk besides its own employees. Chiquita should be given the “civil death penalty” and be put out of business for the actions that took place. Chiquita did not have to be involved with giving money to this group and did not think of the consequences based on a lack of ethics. Working together with the paramilitary group is the easy solution to a difficult problem but is also insulting to many Columbians who have had their lives changed by the group’s violence. If an individual US citizen paid money to a terrorist group in order to have protection they would likely lose everything.