“The Indonesians came here for the first time in September 2010,'' resident Benedict Manewah explained. “They said: ‘We have a concession agreement, your president has sold it to us.’ Three months later they came back... and they started to destroy the properties, farmlands, crops, livestock and houses.’’ Manewah listed the crops he had planted. “I had rubber trees, cassavas, breadfruits, orange trees, cocoas, coconuts and palm trees,’’ for his family. GVL workers uprooted his crops to produce palm oil exclusively, and “they ship everything to their people, at home,’’ in Indonesia, he said.
Saydee Monboe pointed out that farmers now had no choice but to work under contract for GVL, charging: “This is not development, it's modern slavery.’’
Alfred Brownell, a lawyer who founded the organization Green Advocates, added:“The way they operate is almost as mob gangsters; threats, intimidation, illegal arrests,''