Agribusiness giants Cargill and Wilmar just cut ties with the Guatemalan palm oil supplier responsible for a deadly spill that contaminated La Pasión River and destroyed the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people in Guatemala’s Sayaxché region.
REPSA was found guilty of ecocide, causing massive fish and wildlife die-offs, destroyed the livelihoods of tens of thousands, and is suspected to have used violence and intimidation to silence its opponents.
But despite that, Nestlé is still refusing to cut ties with REPSA.
This community has been upended by this disaster -- but Nestlé’s actions could be the missing piece that finally forces REPSA to properly compensate the affected communities and repair the damage it caused. It’s time for Nestlé to do the right thing and cut ties with REPSA immediately.
Tell Nestlé to come clean and cut ties with palm oil supplier REPSA.
Following a deadly spill of pesticide-laden palm oil waste into the Pasión River in northern Guatemala in June 2015, a Guatemalan court ruled the spill an “ecocide” and ordered that REPSA suspend operations pending investigation. Immediately following the ruling, in September, 2015, a schoolteacher named Rigoberto Lima Choc was shot and killed.
Cargill and Wilmar’s decision to cut ties with REPSA came after years of abuse, inaction, and failure to take real steps to address the environmental and social damages caused. Your pressure was critical in pushing the companies to cut ties with REPSA.
But, according to an Oxfam investigation, REPSA is still silencing critics and failing to compensate those most impacted by the spill.
REPSA’s inaction has left community members waiting for justice, while a culture of violence and intimidation targeting environmental activists runs rampant. But we can finally help change that.
With Cargill and Wilmar moving in the right direction, our pressure can force Nestlé to finally cut ties with REPSA and hold the palm oil supplier to account for the environmental and social harm it caused in Sayaxché.
Demand clear action now. Tell Nestlé to cut ties with palm oil offender REPSA.
Even now, in spite of REPSA’s “zero tolerance” stance on violence, local activists are reporting new cases of alleged intimidation.
REPSA has yet to implement a plan to compensate community members, including hundreds of out-of-work fishermen whose livelihoods were destroyed along with La Pasión River’s aquatic life.
REPSA has stalled official investigations with legal appeals, further escalating the tensions and causing violence and threats to environmental activists in the region.
Along with our partners, we’ve pushed Cargill and Wilmar to cut ties with REPSA. We’ll continue to pressure them and the Guatemalan authorities to demand justice and protection for the countless Sayaxché residents still reeling from REPSA’s deadly spill.
Nestlé has to take its responsibilities and do its part.
Call on Nestlé to join Cargill and Wilmar in holding REPSA to account for the social and environmental impact of its reckless palm oil production in Guatemala.