PBI-Honduras shares quote from Dina Meza expressing concern about giving resources to the Government of Honduras

Published by Brent Patterson on

“Giving resources to the Government of Honduras is giving them tools so that they continue to violate the population. The focus of the international community is very important to curb all these human rights violations.” – Dina Meza, director of ASOPODEHU

This might prompt the question: What resources does Canada give to Honduras?

On July 30, 2009, The Globe and Mail reported: “Canada is still providing training to members of the Honduran army, despite the military coup that sent the Central American country into turmoil late last month.”

“This year [2009], three Honduran soldiers are receiving English-language training at bases in Kingston, Ont., and St. Jean, Que., and two others are attending Canada-funded peacekeeping courses in Chile and Argentina. The cost is estimated at $70,000 annually.”

“[Peter Kent, at that time the minister of state for foreign affairs] added Canada is not cutting the $16.4-million in development aid it provides each year to Honduras.”

By 2012, Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams was raising serious concerns about the influence of Canada in the writing of the mining law in Honduras.

She wrote: “In creating this new [mining] 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 April 2014, MiningWatch Canada’s then Latin America program coordinator Jennifer Moore also 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.”

Then on October 1, 2014, the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement and parallel agreements on labour and environmental cooperation entered into force.

From 2015 to 2016, Canada gave $35.73 million in official development assistance to Honduras (a substantial increase from the $16.4-million it gave in 2009).

On June 22, 2019, Honduras Solidarity tweeted: “Vehicles w/ Canadian flag that were ‘donated’ to Min. of Health, carry Military Police to repress protesters defending public education & healthcare. Pics are circulating on social media in Honduras.”

Within days Proceso reported: “The publication provoked a reaction from the Canadian ambassador in Honduras, James K. Hill, who issued a statement in which he stated that his government ‘is deeply concerned about the recent images circulating in Honduras showing vehicles with the Canadian logo, transporting military personnel’.”

PBI-Honduras has provided protective accompaniment to Meza since May 2014.

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