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Panama: Defender and leader of banana workers was arrested for allegedly assaulting Del Monte Fresh machinery and conductor

Marvin Wilcox was arrested in recent days for alleged assaults on machinery and personnel of Banana Piña, a subsidiary of Del Monte fresh. Marvin and his companions argue that the arrest is given in an unjustified manner since he denies the accusations and argues that he was observing the inspection of the farm of a local producer by an agrarian judge in Chiriqui. The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre invited Del Monte Fresh to answer the allegations, the company did not respond.

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Company non-response
4 June 2019

Del Monte Fresh did not respond

19 May 2019

Marvin Wilcox detained and criminalised in Barú

Author: Frontline Defenders

…Marvin Wilcox is a human rights defender and leader of the producers of Barú affected by a government project known as Contract-Law 36-17, which grants the use of 6,000 hectares of land for 20 years for the mass production of bananas by the private company Banana Piña, reportedly a subsidiary of the multinational Del Monte Fresh. He is also a member of the Comité en Defensa de la Tierra de Barú (Barú Land Defence Committee) and “Unidos por el Agro”. The Barú Land Defence Committee is a group of rural producers seeking to protect their lands from concession to multinational companies. On 16 May 2019, Marvin Wilcox was observing the inspection of a local producer’s farm by an agrarian judge in Chiriquí. Despite his peaceful conduct, the human rights defender was detained and handcuffed by the police on fabricated allegations of “being physically violent to a machine” and verbally abusive to its conductor, as well as blocking a path. On the day, a number of machines were being used to destroy a banana plantation of around 60 hectares, as part of an expansion project reportedly of the transnational company Del Monte Fresh…

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