PBI-Honduras observes road taking in defence of forests in La Paz

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On February 7, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted, “Last week we observed, at the request of the CNTC, the road taking in defense of the forests and against the indiscriminate felling of trees in the department of La Paz.”

PBI-Honduras adds, “This action ended in a negotiation with the Forest Conservation Institute (ICF) and other environmental institutions, which pauses the Environmental Management Plan and opens a 15-day dialogue process.”

The CNTC, which was founded in 1985, is a small-scale farming and trade union organization that fights for the distribution of land. It is affiliated to the Unitary Confederation of Honduran Workers (CUTH) and is part of La Vía Campesina-Honduras.

The Washington, D.C.-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs has noted, “Since the coup [in 2009], peasants have suffered from increased repression, with death squads threatening and assassinating hundreds of campesinos while palm oil and hydroelectric companies accumulate land by dispossession.”

In March 2017, The Guardian reported, “In La Paz province, the Lenca have been fighting a rash of hydroelectric schemes on mountain streams, being promoted by a local politician and vice president of the Honduran Congress for the ruling right-wing Nationalist Party, Gladys Aurora Lopez, and her husband Arnold Castro. These projects are proposed for mountains that locals say have been illegally taken from them.”

That article adds, “Local leader Ana Mirian Romero had her home burned down. ‘They call us stupid Indians’, said La Paz activist Margarita Pineda Rodriguez. ‘But these projects offer us no benefits, only loss of our natural resources.’”

The environmental and human rights organization Global Witness has stated, “Nowhere on earth are you more likely to be killed for protesting the theft of land and destruction of the natural world than Honduras.”

PBI-Honduras has been accompanying the CNTC since May 2018.

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