PBI-Honduras present at CEHPRODEC-coordinated meeting on open-pit mining

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On January 22, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted on its Facebook page, “Last Friday [January 17] we were present at the working days in San Estebán, Olancho on open pit mining in Honduras, an event coordinated by Cehprodec (Honduran Center for the Promotion of Community Development).”

Defensores en linea has reported, “The department of Olancho is formed by 23 municipalities and in most of them concessions for exploration and exploitation have been granted, according to the report ‘The State of Mining in the Department of Olancho’, carried out by the Honduran Center for Development Promotion Community (CEHPRODEC).”

Carlos Padilla of CEHPRODEC explains, “Mining generates social conflicts, division of the Honduran family and communities, because since they arrive they start talking to them with promises of development and great benefits, but nobody really sees them.”

OHCHR visit to Honduras

The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) Working Group on Business and Human Rights visited Honduras in August 2019.

With respect to the environment, it reported:

“We heard repeatedly about the lack of transparency and hence lack of confidence of the current system to prevent and mitigate adverse human rights and environmental impacts.  For several years, the State has privileged more flexible regulation governing extractive and energy sectors in order to facilitate licensing and concessions procedures. It is urgent to ensure a regulatory framework firmly grounded in international human rights law and standards, including the UNGPs [UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights].”

Canada and mining in Honduras

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.

In April 2014, MiningWatch Canada’s then Latin America program coordinator Jennifer Moore expressed concern to a Canadian parliamentary committee about the Canadian-backed mining law that was passed in Honduras in January 2013.

Moore stated, “This law was developed and passed with strong diplomatic support from the Canadian embassy, and with contributions from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the former Canadian International Development Agency.”

And Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams warned in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper not long before the mining law was passed:

“In creating this new law, 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.”

In May 2014, CEHPRODEC contributed to the report The impact of Canadian Mining in Latin America and Canada’s Responsibility that was submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

That report includes the recommendation that Canada, “refrain from providing any government support, whether through development programs, trade and/or association agreements, public financing or technical or political assistance, for the purpose of influencing the enactment of lax regulatory frameworks for mining investments and to the detriment of the obligation to guarantee human rights in the host countries of the extractive projects.”

PBI-Honduras began accompanying CEHPRODEC in May 2014.

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