UN-accredited companies violently seize land to grow biofuels as part of carbon trading scheme
23 farmers in Honduras were slaughtered in cold blood by hired mercenaries as they tried to protect their land from being seized by a corporation who wanted to use the land to produce biofuels as part of a United Nations-accredited EU carbon trading scheme.
“Protests erupted in July when six international human rights advocacy groups presented a report to the EP detailing what they called murders and forced evictions of peasants in El Bajo Aguán Valley of northern Honduras, ” reports the New American.
“The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) report accuses UN-sanctioned palm oil mills of stealing farmland from Honduran natives and killing or wounding them when they attempt to defend their property. It says the companies, acting with government impunity, regularly target members of local land-rights movements who end up murdered in feigned car accidents or hunted down and shot by private security guards.”
The United Nations’ CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) responded to news of the killings with a collective shrug of the shoulders.
“We are not investigators of crimes,” a board member told EurActiv. “We had to take judgements within our rules – however regretful that may be – and there was not much scope for us to refuse the project. All the consultation procedures precisely had been obeyed.”
The CDM board’s chairman, Martin Hession, also refused to take responsibility and argued that the EU didn’t have the resources to investigate the crimes. However, members of the European Parliament have promised to visit the area later this month as part of an ongoing investigative mission.
“Examples of the violence are gruesome,” writes Rebecca Terrell. “Security guards ambushed 15-year-old Rodving Omar Villegas near his village and shot him to death with an AK-47. A car ran down and killed 60-year-old Juan Ramon Mejia. And José Leonel Guerra Álvarez was murdered inside his home in front of his wife and children by armed assailants firing from outside the house.”
The murders were facilitated by the “direct involvement of private security guards from some of the local companies who are complicit with police and military officials,” a report by an International Fact Finding Mission that was presented to the European Parliament’s Human Rights Sub-committee stated.