Asked FMC's Venezuelan subsidiary about Sahara imports

Western Sahara Resource Watch today asked FMC Corp’s subsidiary in Venezuela for the fourth time questions regarding its controversial imports from occupied Western Sahara. WSRW can reveal that the company might have imported twice during the last year, in spite of the mother company’s promises to investors that the imports have ended.
LATEST: Tripoliven clarifies it does not import from Western Sahara.
Published: 19.02 - 2013 12:26Printer version    
Graphics: Trygg Mat

11 January 2013, the bulk vessel 'Silverstar' arrived the port of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, with a cargo of phosphate rock from Western Sahara. The vessel has a carry capacity of 30.000 tonnes of phosphates. The graphic above shows the vessel’s route. This was the second arrival to Puerto Cabellos in 6 months. Approximately 30 July 2012, another vessel,  the Panama flagged 'Super Adventure', of approximately the same size, made the same journey.

The importer is most likely the part state owned – part FMC Corp owned- company Tripoliven.

UPDATE, 18. Feb 2013:Tripoliven clarifies it does not import from Western Sahara. (18.02.2013)
Tripoliven: "We do not import from Western Sahara"The Venezuelan company, partly owned by FMC Corp, stated in a mail to WSRW today that it does not import phosphate rock from Western Sahara.
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One week after 'Super Adventure' arrived Venezuela, FMC Corp in the US sent a letter to the Norwegian government pension fund, stating that neither FMC Corporation, FMC Foret nor any other subsidiary of FMC Corporation any longer purchased phosphate from any source, including Western Sahara. Furthermore, neither FMC Corporation nor its subsidiaries had any plans or agreements that include future purchases of phosphates from Western Sahara, according to the letter.

In this light, the two recent cargos to Puerto Cabello means, logically, one of the following:
1) Tripoliven has stopped importing, and another company in Puerto Cabellos has taken over the Venezuelan company’s decades long imports from Western Sahara.
2) FMC Corp does not consider Tripoliven to be one of its subsidiaries, either because the shares have been sold, or of semantic considerations.
3) There was an error in FMC Corp’s letter to the Norwegian government pension fund.

Western Sahara Resource Watch wrote to the Venezuelan company Tripoliven on 12 December 2011, 25 November 2010 and 3 June 2008.

None of the letters were responded to. WSRW sent a new letter to Tripoliven today.


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Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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