Pages

Friday, October 23, 2015

Randy Jorgensen, the Canadian “Porn King”, To Appear in Honduran Courts for Illegal Possession of Garifuna Lands for Tourist Projects

Randy Jorgensen will appear in Honduran courts under charges of usurpation, related to the illegal possession of Afro-indigenous, Garifuna lands in Trujillo, Honduras. Jorgensen, also known as the Canadian Porn King, is a major investor in various tourist projects in the Trujillo Bay area along Honduras’ northern Caribbean coast, including the ‘Banana Coast’ cruise ship terminal, and various gated-community projects. Charges against Jorgensen involve the illegal purchase and on-going use of land within a community land title belonging to the Garifuna communities of Cristales and Rio Negro, located in Trujillo Bay.

Photo caption: The Banana Coast cruise ship terminal, in the Rio Negro neighborhood in Trujillo. Local residents no longer have free access to the beach.

The legal hearing will take place on November 13 and the charges come after years of investigation of the illegal land sales. In June of this year, an arrest warrant for Jorgensen was issued by the Honduran Attorney General’s office. The majority of the alleged “land sales” in Rio Negro were made under threat of expropriation and repression, given the tense political environment following the June 2009 military coup in Honduras.

The Garifuna are an Afro-indigenous people that have lived for over 200 years along the Caribbean coast of Honduras, on lands now threatened by the foreign and national tourism industry. In the Trujillo region, Garifuna communities are also being evicted from their ancestral lands amid the possible construction of an Economic Development and Employment Zone (ZEDE) or Model City. Jorgensen’s investments are seen as the seed of a future ZEDE or parts of what could grow into a free trade, special development zone in the region.

Slow Tourism-Related Ethnocide

The Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH by its Spanish acronym) has been publicly condemning tourism-related repression and illegal land sales for years. In December 2011, Rio Negro and Cristales, accompanied by OFRANEH, “filed a lawsuit demanding absolute nullity of several fraudulent land sales made in favor of Randy Roy Jorgensen. … Jorgensen, in the midst of the Honduran political tragedy in 2009, managed to suddenly obtain environmental licenses to build in an area declared a buffer zone of the Capiro and Calentura National Park.” Regarding the recent charges, OFRANEH released a statement that can be found here.

Photo caption: The ruins of a house in Rio Negro, with one of the last houses standing in the backdrop at the location where the Banana Coast cruise ship terminal is now located. Picture taken in 2011.

The piece of land that Jorgensen is illegally occupying consists of over 76 manzanas [approximately 132 acres] within the Rio Negro land title dating back to 1901. Upon obtaining the land, Jorgensen has since built the ‘Banana Coast’ cruise ship terminal that received over 50 international cruise ships last season. The Garifuna community of Rio Negro has largely been ‘disappeared’ by the project and the few houses remaining are regularly affected by severe flooding caused by the design and construction of the cruise ship terminal adjacent to their houses. Residents of Rio Negro and surrounding Garifuna communities have also lost access to the beach, a lifeline for the Garifuna that rely on fishing for local consumption.

Tourism, Dispossession and Repression

In her excellent article about Canadian tourism interests in Trujillo, journalist Dawn Paley reports that Jorgensen was nicknamed the ‘Canadian Porn King’ in a 1993 publication of MacLean’s magazine in Canada. The nickname is a play on how Jorgensen earned his fortune by distributing and selling pornographic films in ‘Adults Only Video’ (AOV) stores across Canada and online. Upon moving to Honduras in 2007, the Porn King has since become the major promoter and investor of a Cancun-style tourism economy in Trujillo Bay. Besides Banana Coast, Jorgensen owns another company, Life Vision Developments that is selling small lots of land to North Americans through various real estate firms based in Canada, and a money-making scheme known as Fast Track Group based in Alberta, Canada. These lots – many of which were illegally purchased by Life Vision Developments and are inside Garifuna land titles – are located within gated-communities Campa Vista, Coroz Alta, Alta Vista, and New Palm Beach.

Photo caption: The entrance of NJOI Trujillo.

Other North American projects have since begun construction and land sales in the last few years, following in Jorgensen’s footsteps. NJOI Trujillo and NJOI Santa Fe, owned and managed by Canadians Gino and Cristina Santarossa, and Paul and Lucio Todos, are real estate, resort-style projects for sale. Canadian journalist Sandra Cuffe writes about NJOI’s projects built illegally inside land owned communally by the Garifuna community of Guadalupe.

It is likely that many, if not all of these tourism-related investments are in serious risk, given that most, if not all recent tourism investment projects, going back to before the 2009 military coup, and particularly since the coup, are being constructed on Garifuna lands and territories that have been illegally acquired, in one fashion or another. Garifuna community and human rights defenders believe, and hope, that the usurpation charges against Randy Jorgensen are only the first of many legal challenges to come.

Jorgensen’s Legal Problems, Past and Present

The current charges against the Porn King are not Jorgensen’s first run-in with the Honduran legal system. In 2001, Jorgensen and his father, Roy Jorgensen, fought charges of proxenetismo de menores or prostitution of minors, all the way to the Honduran Supreme Court. There are concerns of corruption related to how the charges were ultimately dropped. Then in 2011, Jorgensen reported to the Honduran press that Honduran banks had closed his accounts for “unknown reasons”. Locals in Trujillo Bay also report that Jorgensen has strong ties to the Lobo family that have been accused of drug trafficking. Fabio Lobo, the son of former Honduran President Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, was arrested in May of this year by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency on drug trafficking charges in connection to the drug cartel operating in the Trujillo area, known as “Los Cachiros.” Lobo was extradited to stand trial in the U.S.

The most recent usurpation charges against Randy Jorgensen come as a surprise given the high levels of corruption and impunity in the Honduran judicial system. Although the recent charges seem hopeful, many are skeptical that the charges will proceed, if at all, in Honduran courts.

Photo caption: Randy Jorgensen (left) with Ramon Lobo (center) and former President Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo (right). Photo from Life Vision Development.

8 comments:

  1. Consulting specializes in management & strategy consulting and corporate & asset assessment for a wide selection of areas, particularly real estate and industrial companies. The group has been providing these facilities in the Middle to a very large number of local and international customers.

    Source: ezEstate Dubai

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice article unfortunately you have no facts and if you did you would not be posting our properties in this manner. We here at the Njoi have never built illegally in Honduras and have never been accused of doing so until your false and outrageous article. We have property papers for both of our properties and environmental permits from the government. All
    Of our land owners have legal paperwork as well from the municipality. I would suggest you take this article down or simply remove the Njoi as you are falsely representing us. I can be reached anytime via our website. It's a shame writers have to promote themselves with false information. On the other hand we have full support from the mayor Of Santa Fe who he himself is a Gatofuna and we have hired over 200 Hondurans that work for our developments and the majority of our help is Garifuna. I guess you forgot to mention this part as well. Just a shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How I Got My Loan From A Genuine And Reliable Loan Company (Lexieloanfinance@gmail.com)!!!

      My Name is Nicole Marie, I live in USA and life is worth living comfortably for me and my family now and i really have never seen goodness shown to me this much in my life, As i am a struggling mum with two kids and i have been going through a serious problem as my husband encountered a terrible accident last two weeks, and the doctors states that he needs to undergo a delicate surgery for him to be able to walk again and i could not afford the bill for his surgery then i went to the bank for a loan and they turn me down stating that i have no credit card, from there i ran to my father and he was not able to help me, then when i was browsing through yahoo answers and i came across a God fearing man (Mr Martinez Lexie) who provides loans at an affordable interest rate and i have been hearing about so many scams on the Internet mostly Africa, but at this my desperate situation, i had no choice than to give it an attempt due to the fact that the company is from United State of America, and surprisingly it was all like a dream, i received a loan of $82,000.00 USD and i payed for my husband surgery and thank GOD today he is ok and can walk, my family is happy and i said to myself that i will shout to the world the wonders this great and God fearing Man Mr Martinez Lexie did for me and my family; so if anyone is in genuine and serious need of a loan do contact this GOD fearing man via Email: Lexieloanfinance@gmail.com or ( Lexieloancompany@yahoo.com ) or immediately reach him through text Tel: +1 (406) 946-0675 thanks

      Delete
  3. Hope to find more educational post from you. Been looking for a kind of post that has full of information. But this one is also helpful, thanks a lot!
    Holborn Assets

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wonderful article!) I think that many people have porn experience like https://kovla.com/blog/i-had-a-porn-experience-and-you/ or they just want to!) Read it if you are keen of it!) Enjoy)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like the Valuable Information you provide in your articles. I'll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!
    financial advisers

    ReplyDelete
  6. How I Got My Loan From A Genuine And Reliable Loan Company (Lexieloanfinance@gmail.com)!!!

    My Name is Nicole Marie, I live in USA and life is worth living comfortably for me and my family now and i really have never seen goodness shown to me this much in my life, As i am a struggling mum with two kids and i have been going through a serious problem as my husband encountered a terrible accident last two weeks, and the doctors states that he needs to undergo a delicate surgery for him to be able to walk again and i could not afford the bill for his surgery then i went to the bank for a loan and they turn me down stating that i have no credit card, from there i ran to my father and he was not able to help me, then when i was browsing through yahoo answers and i came across a God fearing man (Mr Martinez Lexie) who provides loans at an affordable interest rate and i have been hearing about so many scams on the Internet mostly Africa, but at this my desperate situation, i had no choice than to give it an attempt due to the fact that the company is from United State of America, and surprisingly it was all like a dream, i received a loan of $82,000.00 USD and i payed for my husband surgery and thank GOD today he is ok and can walk, my family is happy and i said to myself that i will shout to the world the wonders this great and God fearing Man Mr Martinez Lexie did for me and my family; so if anyone is in genuine and serious need of a loan do contact this GOD fearing man via Email: Lexieloanfinance@gmail.com or ( Lexieloancompany@yahoo.com ) or immediately reach him through text Tel: +1 (406) 946-0675 thanks

    ReplyDelete