Sep 7, 2016

International: Help get the money out of dirty #palmoil. Tell Cargill and Wilmar Say NO to REPSA. No to Ecocide! No to business as usual!

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From: "Friends of the Earth" <>
Date: Sep 6, 2016 7:42 AM
Subject: Tell Cargill and Wilmar: Say NO to dirty palm oil

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Tell Cargill and Wilmar: Say NO to dirty palm oil!
One year ago, a massive spill of toxic palm oil effluent was dumped into the Pasión River. In a landmark decision, a judge in Guatemala ruled that the spill constituted "ecocide" and ordered REPSA -- the company deemed responsible -- to cease operations.
Then things got ugly. On the day after the decision, Rigoberto Lima Choc, an activist who denounced the spill, was killed in broad daylight, the judge that heard the case was forced to step down and the ecocide ruling was overturned.
Today, the killer remains at large while the company remains in business. The palm oil produced by REPSA continues to be sold to the palm oil industry and multinational traders have largely carried on with business as usual -- including Cargill and Wilmar, the biggest in the business.
Tell Cargill and Wilmar to cut ties with REPSA and wash their hands of Guatemala's dirty palm oil.
In response to the ecocide disaster and murder of Rigoberto, we joined thousands of Guatemalans in demanding that Cargill and Wilmar denounce the violence against activists, cut ties with REPSA, and comply with their own sustainable sourcing policies and basic human rights. But neither company has fully heeded our demands. 
The spill of pesticide-laden palm oil waste caused massive fish kills and impacted the lives of 120,000 people in the municipality of Sayaxché. The Guatemalan court's ruling of "ecocide" shows the gravity of the disaster. The murder of Rigoberto shows that violence is tolerated in the palm oil business. These multinationals have responded by trying to make REPSA more "sustainable" -- but there can be no sustainability without accountability.
Demand that Cargill and Wilmar cancel their contracts with REPSA until justice is done. 
To be clear, both Wilmar and Cargill did respond to your outrage. They heard your voices and the voices of the thousands of Guatemalans who demanded that REPSA close down its operations and ban palm oil expansion in the region. They put pressure on REPSA -- but the clock is ticking for REPSA to take action.
Tell Cargill and Wilmar to cut ties with REPSA once and for all.
Throughout the tropics, palm oil is a leading cause of forest destruction and land rights abuses. These companies' business models put local communities and land defenders at risk. That's why we're ramping up the pressure around this landmark case in Guatemala and why we're pressing financiers who invest in palm oil to stop financing this destruction. 
Over the next few months, you'll have opportunities to raise your voice and help get the money out of dirty palm oil. Together, we'll demand that financiers establish Deforestation-Free and Land Grab Free policies to take a stand against violence and ecocide in the palm oil industry 
In the meantime, let's defend the fearless activists on the frontlines by getting the multinationals to pull out of Guatemala's toxic palm oil business.
For the Pasión River,
Jeff Conant,
Senior international forests program manager,
Friends of the Earth

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