May 27, 2019 by members
Green Advocates working with 22 Liberian indigenous villagers has filed a complaint with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman against the Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC), a Liberian subsidiary of of Luxembourg-based agricultural giant Socfin. The complaint alleges that SRC is using World Bank money to expand and operate its Liberian plantations through illegal land grabs, sexual violence, and intimidation of human rights defenders.
SRC took over the Weala Rubber Company in 2007, after the end of Liberia’s civil war. SRC received an IFC loan in 2008 to expand and modernize its rubber plantations. But according to villagers, that expansion has undermined their livelihoods and has been accompanied by violence against women and community leaders. The company has forcibly taken over traditional territory and even lands for which locals hold formal title deeds, without regard for land rights and without compensating the owners.
One resident explained, “Our ancestors resided upon these lands before the Republic of Liberia even existed.” But now many villages are surrounded by plantation, their farmlands and forests cleared and engulfed by rubber trees.