Everything PR News research reveals that David Sowells, former Managing Director of Bell Pottinger has been hired by the very controversial company Corporación Dinant, a Honduras based company who has been accused of murder as well as very serious human rights violations.
According to documents filed with the United States Department of Justice, Sowells’ firm, Tricuro LLC will be paid $16k a month for a 1 year engagement of public relations. Read the full filing here.
According to Oxfam documents, “internal investigation has revealed that the World Bank has invested in a palm oil and Food Company implicated in serious rights abuses in Honduras.” Oxfam has claimed that “ The expansion of palm oil plantations in the Aguán Valley has long been associated with extensive abuses, including the killing, kidnapping and forced eviction of farmers. The CAO cites allegations that 102 members of peasant associations in the Aguán Valley have been murdered in the last four years, 40 of these associated with Dinant property or its security guards.” They further noted, “Global and Honduran civil society groups –- are now calling on World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to take immediate action to withhold funding to Dinant, to require Dinant to halt all violence directed at local farmers and find a peaceful and sustainable resolution to conflict over land.”
Separate documents in The Guardian claimed that this company was “accused of assassinations and forced evictions of peasant farmers.” The Guardian continued to state that “..Dinant, which is accused of using violence to deal with land conflicts”. A separate, 3rd website notes that “Grupo Dinant, a Honduran palm oil company implicated in dozens of murders as well as other human rights abuses.”
Wikipedia notes that the owner of the company which David Sowell has been hired by, Miguel Facusse is the largest land-owner in Honduras. It is noted that he has been described in 2012 by Reporters without Borders as having, “a private militia that can count on support from the police and army to impose his will.” Reporters without Borders previously had called upon Facussé Accusations that Facussé’s militia was responsible for the deaths of peasants occupying his lands, and WikiLeaks claims “an airstrip on Facussé’s property has been used for the transit of cocaine.”
Sowells’ alma-mater, Bell Pottinger has previously been accused in a scandalous front-page story in The Independent accusing them of working for countless countries who violate human rights. The chairman of the company referred to the work, famously, as “dark arts.”
Clearly, Tricuro LLC and David Sowells have their work cut out for them with this client.