illegal arms financed by major Spanish banks

According to Human Rights Watch, the markings on shells found in the Libyan city of Misrata belonged to Spanish company Instalaza SA.

Annie Yumi Joh, an anti-war campaigner from Madrid, told Russia Today that:

“There were arms, MAT-120s, that are prohibited, that were purchased by Gaddafi and used against the residential area in Misrata, and they were produced by a Spanish company and financed by Spanish banks.”

After the Gaddafi regime had curried favour with the West back in 2007, the decades-old international sanctions were ended. Instalaza SA immediately took advantage of the opening market, winning a contract to supply the Libyan forces. Their sale of weapons, which included cluster bombs, continued until 2008, when Spain finally signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions — the CCM being a binding international law that has so far been ratified by more than one hundred countries.

However, it turns out that there’s a loophole within the CCM regulations, which bans the production and use of the cluster bombs, but does not prohibit investment in their production:

“There is one article in the Cluster Munitions Convention, article 1C that speaks of a prohibition to assist, and a lot of countries have already interpreted this article as also containing investment. Spain has not yet done so”

says Esther Vandenbourcke, author of the report “Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions: a Shared Responsibility”.

So although Instalaza SA can no longer produce and sell cluster munitions, as Spanish NGO SETEM’s recent investigations have uncovered, 14 Spanish banks, including, most prominently, the giants BBVA and Santander, could continue to invest in the manufacture of “controversal weapons”. For more details click here.1

NATO’s “kinetic action” against Libya has recently been extended for at least a further 90 days. Spain, as part of NATO, thus finds itself in the midst of an escalating conflict against a regime that it helped to arm.

Based on an article entitled “Spanish banks finance production of Gaddafi’s bombs” published on May 31st by Russia Today. Click here to read the original article.

1 “The confirmation of this news triggered the presentation in Spain of the report Dirty Business: Spanish banks that finance controversial weapons that confirms that from 2006 to the present, 14 Spanish banks have been financially and economically involved in 19 of the leading manufacturers of controversial weapons that cause hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths worldwide. Amongst these are nuclear weapons, depleted uranium and banned weapons such as chemical and biological weapons, cluster bombs and anti-personnel mines.” From a report by Finance GreenWatch

If the above links do not function then you may be able to retrieve a Spanish version of the information from here:

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