Tegucigalpa, Honduras, December 16, 2021:
Earlier today, local public authorities began peacefully removing trespassers who have been illegally occupying Dinant’s San Isidro oil palm plantation in Northern Honduras since March 09th. 2019. So far, there have been no reports of any injuries or disturbances.
Without exception, the removal of invaders from Dinant property is undertaken exclusively by Government security forces acting in accordance with laws protecting private lands from trespassing or under direct instruction from the Honduran courts. The eviction of San Isidro plantation was ordered by competent judicial authority that after an exhaustive legal process at the local and national level – determined once again that Dinant is the rightful owner of the land and that trespassers have no evidence to support their claims.
Company spokesman, said, “We are very grateful to the Honduran Legal System for issuing the eviction order, and to the public security authorities for carrying out the removal of trespassers. No Dinant staff were present at the eviction in accordance with the Law and company’s policies. Unfortunately, persistent an illegal occupations, sometimes carried out by armed men, put lives at risk and hurt the financial prospects of our staff and the local economy. We hope that the courts will very quickly come to the same conclusion about Dinant’s other plantations that remain occupied by illegal trespassers.”
Despite today’s eviction, a total of 2,997 hectares of Dinant’s oil palm plantations remain under the control of criminal gangs, many of whom are reportedly armed. Dinant’s Paso Aguan plantation has been illegally occupied by criminal gangs partially since August 28th, 2017, and totally since April 03rd, 2018, the Los Laureles plantation since 01 April 2021, the Camarones plantation since 07 September 2021, and the El Tranvio plantation since 05 December 2021. The illegal occupations of private farms owned by Dinant as well from other landowners are costing millions of US dollars in stolen produce and is damaging local economies, limiting many families to access jobs, which increases unemployment, and force many families to migrate from Honduras out of desperation.
Company spokesman continued, “We refuse to be intimidated by this long-running campaign by criminal elements purporting to represent campesino groups in Northern Honduras who trespass, steal and threaten violence against Dinant’s unarmed security guards and each other. We reiterate our commitment to finding a peaceful and sustainable solution for this region of Honduras. As a socially responsible company, Dinant respects and supports the historical claims by peasant movements to have access to land. However, we call upon trespassers to respect private property and our staff’s right to work without intimidation.”
CORPORATE RELATIONS DEPARTMENT