World Bank claims 'sovereign immunity' to escape liability for its crimes against humanity

Dolack, Pete
Date Written:  2017-03-23
Publisher:  The Ecologist
Year Published:  2017
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20538

In arguing against the World Bank's attempt to declare itself a sovereign state that is above the law, Dolack brings attention to the large-scale crimes the World Bank has committed or been involved in over many decades.



For nearly two decades, farmer cooperatives have challenged Dinant's claims to sixteen palm-oil plantations ... that it has held in the Bajo Aguán region. On information and belief, Dinant's former owner, Miguel Facussé, took that land from the farmer cooperatives through fraud, coercion, and actual or threatened violence.

"The farmer cooperatives have engaged in lawsuits, political advocacy, and peaceful protests to challenge Dinant's control and use of the land. And Dinant has responded to such efforts with violence and aggression."

EarthRights International alleges that the World Bank has "repeatedly and consistently provided critical funding to Dinant, knowing that Dinant was waging a campaign of violence, terror, and dispossession against farmers, and that their money would be used to aid the commission of gross human rights abuses."

The lawsuit filing cites "U.S. government sources" to allege that more than 100 farmers have been killed since 2009. It also says that the International Finance Corporation's own ombudsman said the World Bank division "failed to spot or deliberately ignored the serious social, political and human rights context."

These failures arose "from staff incentives 'to overlook, fail to articulate, or even conceal potential environmental, social and conflict risk' and 'to get money out the door.' "

Despite this internal report, the suit says, the World Bank continued to provide financing and that the ombudsman has "no authority to remedy abuses." World Bank representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

Although not directly a party to the lawsuit, Dinant describes the allegations as "absurd". In a statement on its web site, the company said: "All allegations that Dinant is - or ever has been - engaged in systematic violence against members of the community are without foundation."

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