Peoples Mobilisations against Corporate Impunity & for Peoples Sovereignty convergence at the UN

10 March 2016
Press release

The Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity & for Peoples Sovereignty, an international coalition of more than 200 organisations, social movements and networks convenes to a press conference Thursday 10th March 2016 12.30 pm Place des Nations, Geneva​

The brutal assassination of Berta Cáceres in her home in Esperanza, Honduras on March 2, has generated an unprecedented protest against corporate impunity and a demand for effective access to justice from around the world. This global demand is the essential context of the deliberations of the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on March 11th as the Report of the Open Ended Inter Governmental Working Group (OEIGWG) on transnational corporations (TNCs) is presented. In this context, the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity & for Peoples Sovereignty is present and active in Geneva, calling for a mobilization and a Press Conference on Thursday 10th March (12.30 pm) at the Place des Nations, and intervening at the 31st UNHRC regular session on Friday 11th March.

Resistance to dispossession of people’s livelihoods perpetrated by TNCs has now claimed another victim: the life of the Honduran indigenous woman leader Berta Caceres, whose organisation, COPINH has sustained resistance to the dam Project Agua Zarca for several years. This project is being financed by a range of international Financial Institutions - European Financial corporations, the German giant Voith Siemens, FMO (Netherlands Development Finance Company), the Finnfund (Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation), and the American CABEI (Central American Bank for Economic Integration). It is of crucial importance to expose the gravity of this latest corporate crime, taking place just one week before the presentation of the Report of the OEIGWG on TNCs at the UNHRC. The OEIGWG, mandated in June 2014, is effectively pursuing its work to establish a binding international instrument to address TNCs and other business enterprises with respect to human rights.

In this context it is also very important to urge immediate protection and safe return home for Gustavo Castro, a Mexican activist that was with Berta and witnessed the moment of her assassination. He was injured and has been prevented from leaving Honduras and is still detained today without reason. Berta Cáceres assassination is not an isolated event but is part of the systematic violation of human rights that takes place on a daily basis in the systemic process of securing the interests of transnational corporations. In recent years it has consolidated a dense network of mechanisms that make up the architecture of impunity of TNCs and ensures their profits are placed above Human Rights and the Rights of Peoples. The Trade & Investment regime is part of that framework, which would not be possible without the complicity of States, both from the home countries which are headquarters of TNCs and a large number of countries that receive corporate investments. Besides tax exemptions, TNCs demands for lowering of labour and environmental standards are accommodated as in the case of the Agreement made by Chevron with YPF in relation to Agentina’s Vaca Muerta oil field.

We also face a real corporate capture of Democracy in front of which the struggle of Berta and COPINH is a growing threat. This is why she was assassinated. To reduce corporate impunity, there is an urgent need for a UN, legally binding instrument providing for the establishment of a World Court on TNCs and Human Rights. To confront corporate capture, we reaffirm and organize to establish the sovereignty of the peoples.

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More information: http://www.stopcorporateimpunity.org

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