TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS, NOVEMBER 24, 2022: Dinant has suffered further invasions of its oil palm plantations in the Aguan and Lean regions of Honduras in recent days, with trespassers using force to occupy farms, threaten violence against staff, and steal fruit.
On September 20th, over 1,000 hectares of Dinant’s Tumbador plantation were illegally entered by trespassers, with criminal gangs firing weapons in order to gain entry. Fortunately, no casualties were reported, and the trespassing party left the premises after talking to local police authorities.
Today at 5am, a group of trespassers illegally seized access to the Extraction Mill and the Edible oils manufacturing facility preventing the day shift from going to work and illegally detaining around 300 staff members from the night shift and preventing them from leaving. Still at 4:20 pm the staff remain held against their will inside the facility. Police and Human rights authorities talked to the trespassers who are refusing to leave
17,225 hectares (24,630 manzanas) of private land containing oil palm plantations are currently occupied by criminal gangs in the Aguan and Lean.
Many of these trespassers are armed with firearms and machetes, and have threatened violence against and, in some cases, assaulted Dinant staff.
Dinant has notified the police and applied to the justice courts to issue eviction orders. We call on the President, Government, and National Police to take control, uphold the rule of law, respect private property, and protect human rights. Only by returning private lands to their rightful owners can Honduran citizens return to work safely. We urgently call the Honduran Government to act immediately and prevent harm to the 300 staff members illegally abducted and detained inside the Aguan manufacturing facilities.
Dinant urges the President, Government, and National Police to put security measures in place to prevent violence against Dinant staff and damage to Company property.
The theft and illegal sale of oil palm fruit from seized properties continues to flourish, strengthening criminal organizations in the Aguan and Lean, preventing thousands of local people from going to work, and forcing families to migrate out of desperation.