Colombian murders spark palm oil alert

Products on sale in the UK may contain palm oil grown in Colombia, a British charity has warned. The report from War on Want says paramilitaries have murdered or forced poor people off their land amid mounting demand to use the fruit of palm oil trees.

The report, Fuelling Fear: The human cost of biofuels in Colombia, says the South American nation’s armed forces are colluding with right-wing paramilitaries who are killing hundreds of people and displacing thousands more to facilitate plantations of palm oil as an alternative to petroleum-based energy.

It says as much as 70% of the population of Nariño’s western mountain range in south-west Colombia has been forced off its land as
paramilitaries capitalise on biofuels

The National Federation of Oil Palm Producers cites Britain as the largest importer of Colombian palm oil, with the UK buying 48.5% of
the country’s exports. Besides the rush for biofuel as renewal energy, palm oil and related products are used in margarine, crisps, pastries,
detergents, soap and toothpaste.

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