La Tarcoteca

La Tarcoteca

lunes, 28 de septiembre de 2015

Corp Bioterrorism against Mayan Jungle in Guatemala. REPSA hitmen kill enviromental defender Rigoberto Lima

Many times  from cities we wonder about the ravages of capitalism and how it affects our everyday lives without having a clear idea. Here we have a typical conflict in which all the ingredients are given. Under the banner of development, employment and social work, including environmentalism, the interests of a conglomerate premium against an entire population. The consequences are immediate. Our brother Rigoberto, a protest leader, has had to die to make us realize the magnitude of the problem. He was shot outside the courthouse the day of his victory by two gunmen on a motorcycle.

Mayan jungles are threatened and harassed by monoculture and pastures. In Guatemala it arises one of the most flagrant cases of corporative bioterrorism, crimes aganisnt nature, of recent times. Perhaps not by the importance itself of pollution but by the brazenness with which firms operate. Whith problems since the inauguration of the refining plant the REPSA or River Passion case jumped to highlights a few years ago in Guatemala, for the disastrous and immediate effects over the environment, death of thousands fish, hundreds of kilometers of river, tributaries and aquifers pollution, affecting the area retail economy in what has been called as ecocide act by the administration, the same that covers the case with impunity and permissiveness.

Refined palm oil is an industry that unfortunately is expanding. It has its own ecological limits due to extension, deforestation, chemical dependents of sickly monocultures and subsequent contamination of aquifers and affluents. It is alleged that the death of fish was produced by the use of the pesticide Malathion, wich is possible as there is not large seaweed masses. The option for the company could be to change the pesticide, making the production more expensive. But we fear that this is only a part of the story and is also pinpoint the plant residual untreated wastes. It seems that either want to spend money on waste treatment facilities because will rise the prize of the project and surely would make it unaffordable.

The company began operations 15 years ago without environmental impact assestmets, as state by the courts. Although the conflict jump both courts and  global media that not frightened the firm owners, determined to continue with the business at any cost. The company moved all possible ways and managed to make sign a document, headed by the mayor Rodrigo Pop and representatives of seven districts, which stated that "the company has no responsibility in the death of fish".

The company suffered a temporary cessation order of six months, responded by killing the people spokesman in the case, the teacher, and activist councilor Rigoberto Lima Choc, blocking roads, abducting at least three other speakers and threatening to kill the rest.

Typical: the government responds with evasives and proposals to militarize the area, to continue with the extractive and predatory activities of REPSA. We have found little or nothing about the company or conglomerate. Just a press spokesman. Nor web, or facebook, or references. Some indications point relation with Aceites Olmeca company. Being so powerful we should know at least the board. What do they hide? Who are they protecting?

Along with the pollution reaches the information noise. It is unclear whether the sanction was due to operate without impact assestments or by probed pollution, as the Falsimedia keep talking about "alleged contamination" when contamination is evident and is the only source.

We emphasize in the use of workers as REPESA shock troops, alleged perpetrators of the facts, arresting, kidnapping and death threats against local fighters and staging protests against judicial decisions. This is not new in capitalism. The degree of despair, lack of perspective and alienating is so high that it is not difficult to get set against forces that should work together. In the twenty-first century no scabs are needed.

It is curious that the company is tricky  called palma "Reforester"  instead of oil producter or refiner. It is covered with a green halo at BP oil company style, responsible for the Gulf of Mexico spill in 2011, one of the largest ecological disasters in history, for which has not been held accountable to anyone. They engaged in robbing the forest and planting palms, killing all traces of biodiversity. The same effect as if it had a desert.

It si not clear what ares the next steps to follow, but not take action on the matter sentence the entire area to suffer the consequences of pollution and deforestation in brief. If the community were to lose the litigation and environmental degradation continue at the Passion River [río de la Pasión], about 100-200,000 people would lose their livelihoods, must leave the contaminated area and flee to the cities to join his corresponding misery belt, the ghetto. To capitalism it is more important  a master's factory tham a 650,000 people population and a hole ecosystem.

From the tarcoteca condelencias with relatives of Rigoberto, a hero. We encourage everyone to participate in the protection of natural spaces. All support and solidarity with the Mayan and Guatemalan community in their struggle against capitalist predation. They are giants with feet of clay, not as strong or as powerful as they said. Go for them! tctca

Tarcoteca spanish translation/version española

Desastre ecológico en el río La Pasión. es
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0SjgLSI11Y


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REPSA, councill, military, agricultural camera and Falsimedia accomplices in contamination of the Maya jungle
Palma Africana: The Farce of Corporate Social Responsibility | CMI Guatemala
REPSA is part of a five palm company conglomerate in the Palma group Sayaxche, a newly created umbrella group of palm companies operating in the municipality, and that drives monoculture in order to earn a "social license" for through media campaigns and public relations.

In that effort they have joined the municipal government, the army, the Agriculture Chamber  and other palm companies: Tikindustrias, Palmas del Ixcán, NAISA and Unipalma. In that campaign to win over the population, they decided to sponsor the Sayaxché football team, named the fury of passion, paradoxically named after the now severely polluted river that unleashed the fury of its inhabitants.
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Professor Rigoberto Lima Choc murdered in Sayaxche
COMMUNITY PRESS Km. 169
Professor Rigoberto Choc Lima was killed with firearm a few minutes ago facing the court in the Center Sayaxché neighborhood, Petén. According to witnesses, at noon on Friday two men driving a motorcycle shot and kill Lima Choc.

Professor Lima was a key player in the process against the REPSA company.

He lived in the village Champerico, where he worked as a teacher in school. This community has been one of the most affected by the spill to be the nearest facility REPSA, so that suffers most directly coercion, so that neither COCODE dared to participate in the complaints.

According to the attorney Paau Saul, Professor Lima was the first person who wnet to the capital to publicly denounce the company REPSA for committing ecocide in the river The Passion. In a boat photographers and cameramen took to observe the effects of the spill on the river of the Passion. He made delations to the competent authorities, even before the other organizations support.

The professor was elected 5th Team Councillor of José María Cabnal mayor, from the National Unity of Hope party -UNE. Source: journalists and people from Sayaxche.
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Suspected workers used as shock troops of the company 
Front Line Defenders
The September 18, 2015 the human rights defender Prof Rigoberto Choc Lima was killed later the abduction of three human rights defenders, Messrs Hermelindo Asij, Lorenzo Perez and Manuel Mendoza. The three human rights defenders were released later.

Rigoberto Choc Lima was the first person to document the environmental damage that occurred as a result of the activities of the Reforestadora Palma de Petén SA Company-REPSA in the Passion Riber.
[...]
Hermelindo Asij, Lorenzo Perez and Manuel Mendoza are members of the Committee for the Guatemala Defense of Life and Nature and of the Council of Displaced People- CONDEG, and also work in the local support community in the exercise of their economic and social rights. The June 11, 2015, the CONDEG filed a complaint regarding the ecocide.

On the morning of September 18, 2015, a demonstration organized by REPSA workers at 315Km, to protest against a decision taken on September 17, 2015 by Judge Karla Hernandez, who temporarily suspended the activities of the company while research on pollution of the river is performed. About 6 am, while Hermelindo Asij, Lorenzo Perez and Manuel Mendoza passed the Km315 on its way from Coban to Sayaxche, were arrested, forced to get off the car and surrounded by protesting workers. They allowed the human rights defenders briefly contact their families and colleagues, and protesters detained, informing them that were so because of their alleged involvement in the closure of the company. The contact with the three defenders was lost shortly thereafter.

By midmorning, 600 REPSA workers occupied the San Benito Petén Administration of Justice Centre- CAJ, retaining 100 employees, lawyers and clients. Despite of calls for government intervention by the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations Office and several non-governmental organizations, there was no response. At approximately 12:30 pm, Judge Karla Hernandez and assistant Attorney General's office came to the Center to demand the release of detainees in the CAJ. However, they were warned to stay away or they would also be kidnapped. At that time, Rigoberto Choc Lima was shot dead in front of the magistrate of Sayaxché, where he was seeking government intervention along with other human rights defenders.

At 5:30 pm, Hermelindo Asij, Lorenzo Perez and Manuel Mendoza were released, as well as others held illegally in the CAJ. The human rights defenders reported being threatened to be burned alive.
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To know more:
Desastre ecológico en el río La Pasión - Guatevision es 9.6.2015
Informe de nuestros archienemigos de OXFAM 2013 sobre el poder de las industrias de aceite de palma, es: www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/the-power-of-oil-palm.pdf

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