Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 2 April 2021: Shortly before 5am yesterday, trespassers, some of them armed with machetes, began illegally occupying Dinant’s Los Laureles oil palm plantation in Northern Honduras. Abiding strictly by company policy, Dinant staff immediately withdrew from the plantation and called the police. The company has made a formal complaint to local police conductive for a Honduran court eviction order to enable the local authorities to peacefully remove the trespassers.
Three of Dinant’s oil palm plantations are currently occupied. Well-armed trespassers have been illegally occupying two other Dinant oil palm plantations in Northern Honduras – Paso Aguán and San Isidro – since August 2017 and April 2018 respectively. The invasion of the Paso Aguán plantation in 2017 was accompanied by considerable tragedy, with two unarmed Dinant security guards murdered. However, despite the Honduran courts issuing eviction orders in both cases – proving once again that Dinant is the rightful owner of the lands and that trespassers have no evidence to support their claims – no action has been taken by the local authorities to remove the trespassers.
Dinant staff have been prevented from entering the Paso Aguán plantation since April 2018 and the San Isidro plantation since March 2018 due to the threat of violence by the trespassers. These same criminals have intimidated members of neighboring communities, committed harmful acts against each other, and stolen fruit. Dinant will not stand by and allow the same thing to happen to the Los Laureles plantation.
Company spokesman, said, “Dinant condemns in the strongest possible terms the criminal act of invading and occupying yet another of Dinant’s oil palm plantations. We demand that the trespassers leave Los Laureles and the other occupied plantations immediately. Their actions are disrespectful to all who believe in law and order – and the message of this Holy Week – as well as infringing our staff’s human rights and endangering their jobs. We call on the Government to take immediate action to evict the trespassers and uphold the rule of law.”
The spokesman continued, “Without protection of private property, there will be dire consequences for the local economy and the region’s security, resulting in even greater numbers migrating to America. The situation also provides ‘space’ for organized criminal gangs to facilitate illegal activities. The appearance of not enforcing law and order has a negative effect on local and foreign direct investment. Any deterioration of the situation will undercut the Government’s effort to show that Honduras respects and enforces safety, stability, and responsible governance.”
Without exception, the removal of invaders from Dinant property is undertaken exclusively by Government security forces acting in accordance with national laws protecting private lands from trespassing or under direct instruction from the Honduran courts.
CORPORATE RELATIONS DEPARTMENT