WSRW urges Innophos to answer on unethical imports

The US-Mexican firm Innophos has imported phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara for decades. As a new vessel is this week about to arrive Mexico from occupied territory, WSRW requests again about the trade.
Published: 08.12 - 2011 13:49Printer version    
On 8 December, the Japanese owned vessel 'Leo Advance' (IMO number 9442225), was spotted south of Florida, on the way to Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, where she is estimated to arrive on 10 December. The vessel contains a cargo of phosphates from occupied Western Sahara.

Such natural resource activity in Western Sahara is seen as in violation of international law by the UN.

Importer is Innophos Mexico, a fully owned subsidiary of the US firm Innophos Holdings, Inc. The importing firm signed a long term agreement with the Moroccan state owned phosphate company OCP already in 1992 for purchases of phosphates from the occupied territory. The agreement continued out 2010.

On 15 October 2010, Western Sahara Resource Watch sent a letter to the mother firm Innophos Holdings, Inc. WSRW underlined that the trade with Western Sahara phosphates from the occupied territory is highly unethical and in violation of international law.  The firm has still not replied to the letter, which requested the trade to stop. Read the request here.

WSRW in the same letter asked when the long term agreement with the Moroccan state firm would expire. The arrival of the new vessel this week indicates that the contractual relation between Innophos and OCP could have continued, after the former 18 year agreement seemed to have expired in 2010.

Today, WSRW sent a new letter to Innophos, requesting an answer to the letter sent in 2010.

The photo above shows a vessel outside port of El Aaiun, Western Sahara, bound for Innophos in June 2008.




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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