Tegucigalpa, Honduras, June 26, 2014: Earlier today, Government security forces – acting under direct instruction from the Honduran courts and with no involvement by Dinant – peacefully removed between 350 – 400 trespassers who had been illegally occupying Corporación Dinant’s African Palm “Paso Aguán” plantation in the Bajo Aguán region of Honduras since May 5. In accordance with the information we have, when the authorities showed up at the site, the occupants had voluntary left the premises. We congratulate the authorities that participated in such action, since it was carried out with no incidents to regret.
Roger Pineda, spokesperson for Dinant, said, “Today’s actions were undertaken peacefully and exclusively by Government security forces, acting within the law and under direct instruction from the Honduran courts, whose rulings are based on evidence that proves beyond doubt that Dinant are the rightful owners of the land in question.”
Mr. Pineda continued, “Dinant is not in conflict with genuine peasant associations – we source raw materials from smallholder farmers, we rely on local communities to maintain and harvest our crops, and we are committed to helping find a long-term solution to the land conflicts. But the international community must acknowledge that armed and dangerous extremists are using the land disputes for their wider political objectives by terrorizing local communities and encouraging the illegal seizure of private lands, with a hugely detrimental impact on local economies.”
Mr. Pineda continued, “As part of Dinant’s efforts to operate in a safe, transparent and respectful manner, we have removed all firearms from security staff at our plantation sites, locking them away under the supervision of the Government authorities in the Aguán Region and under supervision of senior management for other parts of the country and to be used only as a last resort to protect lives. We are proud that we will be the first company in Honduras and throughout the global agribusiness sector to fully implement the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, which govern how we vet, recruit and train our security staff, and how they engage with members of the community.”
About Corporación Dinant
Corporación Dinant is a family-owned consumer products manufacturer founded in Honduras by Miguel Facusse in 1960. Our products are sold throughout Central America and the Dominican Republic, and exported to global markets. Dinant directly employs almost 8,000 people, supporting over 22,000 livelihoods, generating many millions of US$ in exports for the Honduran economy, and contributing significantly to the economies of all countries in which we operate. Dinant is proud of its Honduran heritage. We are enhancing the lives of people in our local communities by creating thousands of well-paid sustainable jobs and significantly improving their skills, education and health. We passionately believe in the principles of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) regarding the economic, environmental and social impact of our African Palm oil business.
June 26, 2014
CORPORATE RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Media contact: Roger Pineda, firstname.lastname@example.org