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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jun 6, 2014, 10:45 AM

1. Beyond Reform: It’s Time to Shut Down the World Bank

Beyond Reform: It’s Time to Shut Down the World Bank
Written by Cyril Mychalejko
Thursday, 23 January 2014 10:50

Recent conflicts surrounding World Bank-supported projects in Honduras demonstrate that the World Bank is beyond reform, and needs to be shut down.

Source: Toward Freedom

The World Bank came under fire again last week when its ombudsman revealed that the bank’s investment in a palm oil project in Honduras worsened human rights abuses and violent conflicts.

The World Bank’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), the independent auditor for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the bank’s private sector arm in charge of providing investments in developing countries in order to spur private sector growth, investigated a $30 million loan (half of which has been released thus far) to Corporación Dinant, a Honduran palm oil and snack food giant. The loan to Dinant was made just five months after a 2009 military coup in the country removed President Manuel Zelaya, a democratically-elected president seeking moderate labor and land reforms. Zelaya was replaced by a de-facto dictator who used the country’s military and security apparatuses to violently oppress social movements and political opposition.

Such investment on the part of the World Bank has further undermined democracy in the country and empowered Honduran elites profiting from recent political turmoil.

The CAO report suggests that there is an institutional culture of indifference at the World Bank that incentivizes staff “to overlook, fail to articulate, or even conceal potential environmental, social and conflict risk” in order to streamline the approval of loans, while failing to follow its own policies and procedures to prevent such things.

“The IFC loaned millions of dollars to a project, even though it was known that its operations were already enmeshed in killings and other violence... the Dinant case should serve as a warning about the pitfalls of investing without proper oversight,” said Jessica Evans, senior international financial institutions researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch.

The CAO cited reports by human rights groups which documented the murder of 102 people associated with peasant movements in the Bajo Aguán Valley of Honduras, where Dinant’s operations escalated decades-long land disputes. Most of the deaths are blamed on death squads composed of Dinant’s private security working in concert with US-backed Honduran military forces. The company refuses to accept any responsibility.

More:
http://upsidedownworld.org/main/honduras-archives-46/4660-beyond-reform-its-time-to-shut-down-the-world-bank-




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