Central America: Intl. Coalition of NGOs says murder, intimidation & devastation of community livelihoods tied to rampant palm oil plantation expansion must be stop

A coalition of International NGOs had send a letter inviting global oil palm traders to disclose their sourcing relationship with Empresa Reforestadora de Palma de Petén (REPSA) after the toxic spill in river La Pasión in Guatemala and the assassination of human rights defender, Rigoberto Lima Choc. They also request companies to disclose the due diligence and risk assessment processes they undertake given the human rights abuses related to the palm oil industry in Mesoamerica, including those related to Dinant in Honduras.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre previously invited Repsa & Dinant to respond to alleged negative consequencies of their oil palm plantations. The responses are available here:

Repsa´s response on toxic spill in the river La Pasión in Guatemala

Dinant´s response on killings related to the land conflict in the Bajo Aguán in Honduras


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7 June 2018

Guatemala: NGOs call companies to denounce, cancel contracts with palm oil giant Grupo Olmeca

Author: Gemma Tillack, The Understory

"Demand Action To Stop Guatemala's Palm Oil Driven Human Rights Crisis", 19 May 2016

The 6th of June marks the first anniversary of Group Olmeca, a notorious palm oil giant, polluting significant Guatemalan waterways when its effluent ponds overflowed into the Pasión River, causing massive fish-kills and impacting the lives of 12,000 people.... [L]ocal communities and environmental groups begun publicly denouncing the pollution of the waterways and taking legal action, one human rights defender, Rigoberto Lima Choc, was murdered and three others––Mr. Hermelindo Asij Mo, Mr. Lorenzo Peres Mendoza and Mr. Manuel Perez Ordonez––were kidnapped. ...[A] coalition of international NGOs called on major palm oil traders  that source from Grupo Olmeca––namely Wilmar, Cargill, IOI, ADM and Bunge––to publicly denounce the use of violence by Grupo Olmeca and cancel contracts with this controversial supplier, as it is in breach of their palm oil sourcing policies.

*Sourced by RepRisk due diligence on ESG and business conduct risks, www.reprisk.com.

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11 November 2015

Alarming developments in Latin American palm oil industry spur global call to action for palm oil traders

Author: Emma Lierley, Rainforest Action Network

…Spurred by the recent murder of Guatemalan environmental and human rights defender…a coalition of global human rights and environmental organizations today alerted the world’s biggest palm oil traders of the gross violations of human rights…The coalition has issued a letter calling on global commodity traders that may be operating in Guatemala and the wider Mesoamerican region including Cargill, IOI, Wilmar, Musim Mas, AAK, ADM, Bunge and GAR, as well as palm oil processors and federations in the region, to disclose the details of all palm oil suppliers and publish credible plans to tackle human rights violations, social conflict and environmental destruction in their Mesoamerican supply chains…They have the responsibility to ensure their suppliers uphold strict environmental and human rights standards…

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11 November 2015

INGOs letter to global oil palm traders

Author: Friends of the Earth-US, Rainforest Action Network, Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA, Environmental Investigation Agency, Union of Concerned Scientists, ActionAid International, Oxfam America, Forest Peoples Program, Forest Heroes, GRAIN, Alliance for Global Justice & Other Worlds

…The…organizations are writing to express our deep concern about recent developments in the Guatemalan palm oil sector. We are appealing to you and your company to take immediate action to help stop an escalating human rights crisis...Civil society groups in Guatemala and across the world are committed to holding REPSA to account for its irresponsible practices and are working to confirm companies that source from or may be at risk of sourcing from REPSA. Due to the continued lack of transparency and traceability of palm oil supply chains in the Mesoamerican region, we are appealing to your company to immediately determine if you have a sourcing relationship with…REPSA…

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