Cindy Woods, The Guatemala Ecocide Case: What is means for the Business and Human Rights Movement, Justicia en las Américas/Due Process of Law Foundation Blog (Mar. 10, 2016)

This blog post begins with an ecocide case against a palm oil company whose conviction was upheld in 2016 by an environmental crimes court in Guatemala, the first country in the world to establish such a court. Brought by local civil society organizations, the case involved pesticide contamination to the Pasión River by Reforestadora de Palma de Peten S.A., killing millions of fish and other animals.  As exemplified by this Guatemalan case, specialized courts for the adjudication of environmental crimes could serve as a “key stepping stone [sic] towards State fulfillment of international law obligations.” Pointing out that the proposed amendment to the Rome Statute by Polly Higgins includes the ICC’s jurisdiction over “companies, organizations with separate legal personality, and partnerships” for prosecuting ecocide, Woods concludes that conceptualizing ecocide as an international violation against corporate actors “could prove even more groundbreaking.”

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