The Palm Industry’s Plunder Is Continuing
(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)
Friday, May 8, 2015
The Santa Ana ranch continues to be occupied illegally by the Poligrow Company, in spite of the complaints of the Aljure family. They have been displaced since 2012 by paramilitary operations, and now a palm oil project is being undertaken on their land.
An agronomist from the Company confirmed that at Santa Ana they are working on a palm oil project now that they have positive results from 20 hectares planted in palm more than a year ago. Curiously, one of the best-known representatives of Poligrow, the Italian, Carlos Vigna, denies that.
In the small country place known as El Vaticano (The Vatican) on the Santa Ana ranch, José Higuera, the administrator of the transnational was seen working there for Poligrow. Some hours later he was seen at the installations of the Mapiripán Company and on the plantation at the place known as Macondo where this palm oil company is doing some work.
Today, May 7, we found out about a meeting in Macondo between Carlos Vigna, representing Poligrow and representatives of the Palm Oil Growers Federation, known as Fedepalma.
On the Santa Ana ranch, José María Conde, known as “El Chato” (“Shorty”) is now living within 300 meters of the Aljure family’s house, which was destroyed by the paramilitaries in August 2012. This paramilitary took part in the armed operation against the Aljure family, forcing them to be displaced. El Chato is a member of the organization of the paramilitary Edgar Pérez, “El Tomate” (“Tomato”), one of the successors of the paramilitary Pedro Guerrero, “Cuchillo” (“The Knife”).
A few days before they were displaced, the Aljure family was forced to attend a meeting with the paramilitaries “El Tomate”, “Kalamiscov”, and “Calibre”, along with Gildardo Benjumea and the Poligrow Company’s lawyer, Wilson Saray. The armed men intimidated the family and ordered them to stop demanding the return of their land because if they didn’t, they would be killed. The paramilitaries told them that the municipal officials were at their beck and call.
Today we know that the lawyer Saray is a candidate for Mayor of the Municipality of Granada in Meta Province, allied with the Democratic Center Party.
Bogotá, D.C, May 7, 2015
Inter-Ecclesiastical Commission for Justice and Peace