Honduras: Financial Intermediary-01/Aguan Valley
Land conflict, security concerns, environmental pollution
In July 2014, the Movimiento Autentico Reivindicador Campesino del Aguán (MARCA), a collective of four campesino cooperatives in the Aguán region of Honduras filed a complaint with CAO raising concerns about members of two of its cooperatives being negatively affected by the palm oil activities of Aceite de Palma Africana-OLEOPALMA and companies from the Jaremar Group.
After accessing information indicating that some of these companies had been financed at some point by Banco Financiera Comercial Hondureña S.A. (the “Bank”), an IFC financial intermediary client, CAO determined that the complaint met its three eligibility criteria in October 2014, and initiated an assessment of the complaint.
Based on the information received and reviewed, and discussions with IFC, the Bank, and the complainants during the assessment, CAO did not find any indication that IFC has any current exposure to investments in Jaremar Group companies with palm oil plantations in the Aguán Valley. CAO’s assessment found that the issues raised in the complaint are specifically related to the operations of Aceite de Palma Africana-OLEOPALMA, and CAO did not find any indication that IFC had any exposure to investments in said company either.
Based on these verifications, and absent relevant links between the companies named in the complaint and IFC, CAO concluded that this complaint falls outside its mandate and closed the case at assessment.
CAO closed the case on March 19, 2015.
Note: A CAO assessment does not entail a judgment on the merits of complaints. Rather, the aim is to listen to people's concerns, understand the different perspectives, and gauge whether it is possible to address the concerns in a collaborative process.
Status as of March 19, 2015