Corporación Dinant statement on plantation invasions

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  • sábado 0 31 July, 2015

    Corporación Dinant statement on plantation invasions

    Earlier today, the Honduran Government’s Xatruch Task Force – acting in accordance with the law and with no
    involvement by Corporación Dinant – peacefully removed approximately 30 trespassers who had illegally invaded
    and occupied Dinant’s “La Occidental” African Palm plantation in the Bajo Aguán. Later on, an illegal invasion
    occurred at Dinant’s “San Isidro” planation, and the legal process for eviction was followed by our company, with
    the result that when authorities arrived at the site, the trespassers have already left the premises.

    In both cases, no violence has been reported by either the Government security forces or the invaders. As part of
    the company’s commitment to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Dinant’s security guards do
    not carry firearms, nor confront groups that invade its land.

    Roger Pineda, spokesperson for Dinant, said, “I congratulate the Government authorities for their peaceful
    eviction of the illegal trespassers at La Occidental. I am also glad, that in the case of the San Isidro plantation,
    when authorities arrived, the trespassers have already voluntarily left the premises. In accordance with our
    security procedures, Dinant is already documenting and investigating both invasions.”

    Dinant, in the past was regularly the victim of illegal invasions and occupations of its plantations, sometimes by
    trespassers armed with illegal semi-automatic weapons. Evictions of trespassers have always been undertaken
    exclusively by Government security forces acting 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 lands in
    question, or in accordance with the Honduran legal framework established to protect private lands from
    trespassing.

    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. However, we are aware that externally funded political
    extremists are exploiting the land conflicts for their wider political objectives by encouraging others to occupy
    private lands by force. Unfortunately, we are anticipating further attempts to invade our land over the next few
    days – perhaps on a massive scale – as political extremists try to bring chaos to Honduras. We shall not be
    deflected from our commitment to the people of this country.”

    About Corporación Dinant

    Dinant is a family-owned consumer products manufacturer founded in Honduras in 1960 by Miguel Facusse
    Barjum. Its products are sold throughout Central America and the Dominican Republic, and exported to global
    markets. Dinant employs 8,000 people, supports over 22,000 livelihoods, generates millions of US dollars in
    exports for the Honduran economy, and contributes significantly to all communities in which it operates.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Tegucigalpa, Honduras, July 31, 2015
    Contact: Roger Pineda, roger.pineda@dinant.com, +(504) 2239-8800