Earlier today, public authorities – acting on a court order – evicted over 40 trespassers who had been illegally occupying Dinant’s San Isidro African Plantation in the Aguán Valley. It has been reported that the authorities used tear gas to disperse confrontational trespassers, that two members of the military forces were shot by trespassers carrying firearms. It is Dinant’s understanding that the injured have been treated by medical staff and are in a stable condition. There have also been reports that arrests were made.
Even though Dinant took no part in the eviction process, as a matter of priority the company is undertaking a thorough investigation of the incident.
Company Spokesman, Roger Pineda, commented, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those people who were injured during the court-ordered eviction carried out by the public authorities. This is the latest in a long line of invasions and occupations that put lives at risk. We send our condolences to everyone affected by today’s events, and hope that this incident will deter future dangerous invasions and illegal occupations of private property suffered by Dinant and other landowners in Honduras.”
Trespassers first entered Dinant’s San Isidro plantation on July 28th and began illegally occupying the site and harvesting fruit. In accordance with strict company policy, Dinant’s unarmed security guards immediately withdrew at the time of the illegal invasion, and the situation was reported to the public authorities. There were no reports of injuries during the illegal occupation.
Without exception, the removal of invaders from Dinant property has always been undertaken exclusively by Government security forces acting in accordance with the Honduran legal framework established to protect private lands from trespassing or 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.
The company calls upon the trespassers to follow the Honduran legal framework, should they feel they have a claim, and avoid illegal and dangerous acts of trespassing.
About Corporación Dinant
Dinant is a family-owned consumer products manufacturer founded in Honduras in 1960. Its products are sold across Central America and the Dominican Republic, and exported to global markets. The companyemploys 7,200 people, supports a further 22,000 livelihoods, generates millions of US dollars in exports for Honduras, and contributes significantly to the economies of all countries in which it operates. Dinant rigorously benchmarks its operations against stringent international standards regarding economic, environmental and social impacts. Dinant has sold 3,962.5 hectares of land containing plantations at below-market prices to peasant organizations in an effort to provide land to those that want it.