Fish killed in the Rio Pasión, June 6, 2015
The US agribusiness giant Cargill has suspended its business
relationship with a Guatemalan oil palm firm that caused a massive toxic spill,
impacted the food security of thousands of families and then sought to block
their access to justice.
The spill from the palm oil firm Reforestadora de Palma del
Petén SA (REPSA), which occurred in Sayaxché, Peten province in June 2015,
killed thousands of fish and destroyed the plant life in the river. According
to an analysis published by Oxfam earlier this year, REPSA subsequently took a
series of measures to stall an official investigation into the scandal.
Cargill announced that it was suspending its relationship
with REPSA at the end of November, due to the firm’s failure to comply with its
sustainability policy. The announcement comes after years of campaigning by
civil society groups in Guatemala and the US.