The Banana Killing was a massacre of United Fruit Company workers that took place between December 5 and 6, 1928 in Ciénaga, Colombia, near Santa Marta.
On November 12, 1928, the workers went on strike, refusing to work until the corporation reached an agreement with them to provide them with respectable working conditions.
After several weeks of no agreement, during which the United Fruit Company refused to talk with the employees, the conservative administration of Miguel Abada Méndez dispatched the Colombian Army against the strikers, culminating in a murder of 47 to 2,000 persons.
After US officials in Colombia and United Fruit representatives portrayed the workers’ strike as “communist” with a “subversive tendency” in telegrams to US Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg, the US government threatened to invade with the US Marine Corps if the Colombian government did not act to protect United Fruit’s interests.
In his work One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garca Márquez described a fictitious version of the massacre, as did lvaro Cepeda Samudio in his novel La Casa Grande.
Although Garca Márquez mentions roughly three thousand deceased employees, the true number of dead workers is unknown.