Sign the petition to stop Industria Chiquibul's violence against communities in Guatemala!

This petition has been closed on April 2, 2024.

We call on organizations to sign this petition in support of the Mayan Q’eqchi community Santa Elena in the northern region of Guatemala. The community is asking for international and national support in the face of recent threats and growing criminalization by Industria Chiquibul, a palm company that supplies palm oil to transnational corporations such as Nestle and Unilever. Read and sign the letter below.

World Rainforest Movement (WRM)
Qana' Ch'och Movement of Communities in Defense of Water
Coordination of NGOs and Cooperatives (CONGCOOP)

Enough of Industria Chiquibul's threats and violence against peasant and indigenous communities in Guatemala!

The undersigned organizations demand that the relevant authorities take urgent measures against the recent harassment and violations against the Santa Elena community by Industria Chiquibul—a palm oil supplier to transnational corporations such as Nestle and Unilever. Santa Elena community is located in the municipality of Sayaxché, in the northern region of Guatemala.

We stand in solidarity with the Santa Elena community in light of this situation—which was denounced by ancestral authorities, Cocodes (Community Development Council), community mayors, elders and other community members in a large community meeting. We join their denunciation and express our total rejection of:

- the threats made by security forces associated with the company, Industria Chiquibul, as well as the company's illegal installation of a detachment of soldiers on the outskirts of the community;

- the intimidation of a community member by the company's private security agents on January 31 in Lot 36;

- the harassment the community suffered at the hands of seven people, who, on February 2, entered the community, armed, in a pickup truck without a license plate, and refused to identify themselves;

- the company's use of security guards, the National Civil Police and the Justice System to criminalize the community, through various false accusations, arrest warrants and detentions of community members;

- the fake consultation process and completely irrational international certification process that Industria Chiquibul initiated with the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). The RSPO claims that certification "helps protect the environment, communities, workers and wildlife," when in reality, certification is an act of greenwashing that legitimizes a destructive model—as has been widely denounced.

This pattern of violence is inherent to the industrial production of palm. In the last decade, Industria Chiquibul (Unisource Group S.A.) has accrued a trail of violations of the rights of indigenous and peasant communities, including illegal appropriation of community lands in the village of Carolina, contamination of the San Román River, criminalization through company-orchestrated arrest warrants and detentions, labor violations and deforestation. This pattern of violence is inherent to the oil palm industry in Guatemala, where it is also associated with devastating impacts and systematic violations against women.

In the face of this unacceptable situation, we stand in solidarity with the Santa Elena community and all communities whose territories have been invaded or enclosed by palm plantations, and which suffer similar violations by Industria Chiquibul. We say ENOUGH

- No more illegal patrols by the company, day or night, by land or air (with drones) on community lands

- We demand that the illegal detachment of soldiers near the community be dismantled

- No more arrest warrants against community members based on false accusations

- Stop the RSPO certification of Industria Chiquibul

- Stop the intrinsically violent model of palm oil production!