6 December 2023

World Bank Group Institution Agrees to Settle Case Alleging It Abetted Murder

The International Finance Corporation’s settlement agreement is the first time any international financial institution has agreed to pay to end a lawsuit brought by an injured community.

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 6, 2023 – A World Bank Group entity has agreed to a settlement with plaintiffs, including family members of seven murdered campesino farmers, to end a case alleging that it is liable for financing a notorious palm oil company’s violent land-grabbing campaign in Honduras. The settlement is pending court approval.

EarthRights International brought the case, Juana Doe v. International Finance Corporation, in 2017 on behalf of campesino families in the Bajo Aguán Valley of Honduras. They allege that they were victimized by armed agents of Corporación Dinant, which terrorized local communities to expand its profitable palm oil operations. They also allege that the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which financed Dinant’s expansion, knew or should have known that its money was abetting murder and other serious abuses. The IFC is the private corporate lending arm of the World Bank Group.

Doe v. IFC shows us that communities have to sue the IFC to get remedy. It doesn’t have to be this way,” said Margaux Day, Policy Director at Accountability Counsel. “IFC has the opportunity – right now – to put in place a Remedy Framework that creates a pathway for communities to obtain meaningful remedies directly from IFC, without resorting to litigation.”

Read the full press release from Earthrights International here.