Lawsuit: World Bank Arm Aided Firm That Hired ‘Death Squads’
MARCH 7, 2017
A lawsuit filed in a U.S. court alleges that the World Bank Group aided a campaign of terror against peasants who have tried to block a powerful Honduran palm oil company’s expansion of its industrial-scale plantations.
The suit accuses the bank’s business-lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, of “knowingly profiting from the financing of murder” by supporting the Dinant Corporation during a bloody land war in which the agribusiness conglomerate’s security forces allegedly murdered and assaulted local farmers. The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., by EarthRights International, a nongovernmental organization concerned with human rights and environmental issues.
The suit on behalf of 17 Honduran farmers and their family members claims that Dinant hired “paramilitary death squads and private assassins” to eliminate opponents in the struggle over land rights in the Bajo Aguan region of northern Honduras. It alleges that the IFC “provided critical capital funding and moral cover” to Dinant even though it knew – or had reason to know – that Dinant was targeting peasants with threats and violence.