COLOMBIA: Daabon continues to deceive; damaged land’s future uncertain

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CPTnet
20 December 2010
COLOMBIA: Daabon continues to deceive; damaged land’s future
uncertain

In a 28 October 2010 press release, Daabon Organics announced that it will end
its oil palm operations in Las Pavas.  Over a month later, however, their
workers continue plantation activities on the land.

The announcement came four weeks after cosmetics retailer The Body Shop
announced it would stop buying palm oil from Daabon. An article in Colombia’s El
Espectador quoted a Daabon official as saying “activists in front of Body
Shop outlets in Chicago” contributed to that earlier decision.

CPT Colombia joins with displaced farmers from Las Pavas in cautious
celebration of Daabon’s announcement, expressing gratitude to all who helped
foster this development and seeking continuing action to disrupt ongoing social
and environmental harm resulting from internationally financed oil palm
plantations.

“  What we want is for our whole
region to be able to recover from the damage the palm companies have already
done,” said a representative of the displaced farmers.

As one of a group of organizations supporting the farmers of Las Pavas, CPT
signed the following statement that expresses the community’s stance at this
time”

Daabon deceives The Body Shop; Las Pavas
continues in displacement

Findings of an independent commission sponsored by The Body
Shop and Christian Aid that investigated the displacement of the Las Pavas
community and palm monocrop on Papayal Island, bore out the validity of
complaints our community repeatedly raised and confirmed that our land is not
suitable for this type of agribusiness, by virtue of their deleterious effects
on the region’s environment and culture.

Given these findings, the multinational cosmetics company The Body Shop set a
deadline of two months to receive an answer from Daabon Group, whose silence
led The Body Shop to terminate the commercial relationship.
In response, the Daabon Group has publicly announced its decision to withdraw
from Las Pavas.
Given this situation, we inform the national and international community that:

1. Palm cultivation activities in Las Pavas continue uninterrupted as of today
[Nov. 10].

2. The community continues in dispossession, displaced from the territory.

3. The impacts of environmental and cultural damage by the palm industry
continue to affect ecosystems in the territory of Las Pavas and the region
between the Papayal and Magdalena Rivers.

Given these facts and the Colombian government’s formal recognition that we are
a displaced community, we DEMAND the following:

1. Guarantee of a safe, sustainable, dignified and immediate collective return
to the territory of Las Pavas.

2. Guarantee of a quick response to the current food crisis caused by the dispossession.

3. An immediate end to the devastating effects of the implementation of palm
cultivation in our territory.

4. That national and transnational companies linked to the palm business take
needed steps to respect human rights and protect the present and future
sustainability of humanity’s environmental, social, and cultural development.
Buenos Aires, Sur de Bolívar, Colombia.

November 10, 2010.

FARMERS ASSOCIATION OF BUENOS AIRES (ASOCAB)
DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE PROGRAM OF the MIDDLE MAGDALENA REGION (PDPMM)
FEDERATION OF FARMER-MINERS OF SOUTHERN BOLIVAR (FEDEAGROMISBOL)
(CATHOLIC) SOCIAL MINISTRY
CORPORACION SEMBRAR
CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAMS – (CPT Colombia)

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