PBI-Honduras accompanies CEHPRODEC at forum on the impact of mining in Yoro

Published by Brent Patterson on

On October 29, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted on its Facebook page that, “Last week, PBI-Honduras attended the ‘Local Forum on the Situation of the Municipalities of Victoria, Sulaco and Yorito in the Department of Yoro’, where Donald Hernández, the director of CEHPRODEC, spoke before 250 attendees about the impacts of mining in other municipalities of Honduras.”

PBI-Honduras has explained that CEHPRODEC (the Honduran Centre for the Promotion of Community Development) is focused on “the defence of human rights, in particular on economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.”

Canadian connection

Numerous concerns have been raised about the role that the Canadian government played in the mining law adopted in Honduras in January 2013.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams has commented, “The Honduran government has bent over backwards to meet the needs of Canadian and other mining companies but has carried out almost no consultations with Honduran civil society and community organizations.”

She highlighted concerns about the law accelerating the licensing process for new mines, simplifying the rules for mining companies, reducing environmental standards, and privileging water use by mining companies.

The Justice and Corporate Accountability Project report The Canada Brand: Violence and Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America found that between 2000-2015 there was 1 death related to a Canadian mine in Honduras, 10 injuries, and 85 instances of “criminalization”, including arrests, detentions and charges.

PBI-Honduras accompaniment of CEHPRODEC this year

On October 23, PBI-Honduras was present at a CEHPRODEC town hall meeting in the municipality of Gualaco, Olancho when the community declared itself free of mining.

On October 17, PBI-Honduras accompanied CEHPRODEC on a march in Tegucigalpa with members of the National Coalition of Environmental Networks and Organizations of Honduras opposed to mining and making visible their work in defence of water.

On August 30, PBI-Honduras posted, “Yesterday we accompanied CEHPRODEC to an annual march in which hundreds of people from the communities protested against the extractivism that, they say, threaten the territories and natural resources.”

In early August, PBI-Honduras observed with CEHPRODEC a census in the community of Namasigüe in the department of Choluteca intended to support a more open consultation on future mining and solar project concessions in the area.

In March, PBI-Honduras accompanied alongside CEHPRODEC and C-Libre (the Committee for Freedom of Expression) the trial of 13 water defenders from Guapinol opposed to a mine on their territory that has polluted the river.

And in May, PBI-Honduras accompanied CEHPRODEC to San Estebán, a municipality 285 kilometres north-east of Tegucigalpa, for an “assembly on the care of the environment, natural resources and mining” that discussed the impacts of mining on human rights.

PBI-Honduras has accompanied CEHPRODEC since May 2014.

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