Aguan, Honduras: World Bank Backs Death Squads and Displacement

In Honduras, the World Bank has funded a known coup-backer, murderer, and narcotrafficker, while escalating a decades-long land conflict and undermining local food security.

Source: teleSUR English

In November 2009, just months after the military coup ousting President Manuel Zelaya shook Honduras, the World Bank delivered a US$15 million loan to the Honduran corporation Grupo Dinant, despite obvious human rights concerns.

The US$15 million, paid through the World Bank’s private sector lending arm the International Financial Corporation (IFC), was the first installment of a US$30 million loan to be paid to to the palm oil processing and snack food company owned by Honduras’ largest landowner Miguel Facusse.

Though the World Bank approved the US$30 million loan prior to the coup in 2008, the first payment was made in the post-coup context of political repression, widespread human rights abuses, popular protest in Honduras, and regional condemnation of the coup regime. Honduras had been suspended from the Organization of American States (OAS), with the regional body encouraging both member states and international organizations to “review their relations” with Honduras in light of the coup. The World Bank did not take heed.

What’s more, Grupo Dinant’s founder and owner Miguel Facusse – palm oil magnate, member of the Honduran oligarchy, suspected narcotrafficker, and one of the wealthiest men in the country – was a key backer of the coup who has long been implicated in violent land conflicts in the Northern Aguan Valley region where Dinant’s African oil palm plantations and processing facilities are located. “In Honduras, the main problem is a complete lack of democracy and violent repression of all those who oppose the pillaging of the country’s resources by a handful of elites, such as Miguel Facussé.”

Nevertheless, in spite of the precarious and dangerous political situation in Honduras and dubious track record of Facusse and Dinant, the World Bank plowed ahead with the hefty loan, financing death and dispossession in the Aguan as a result…