These are the eight water defenders imprisoned in Honduras for protecting the Guapinol River

Published by Brent Patterson on

“Freedom for the defenders of the Guapinol River!”

Libertad para los defensores de Guapinol (Freedom for the defenders of Guapinol) has been posting on their Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as their website (in English) about the defenders imprisoned this past year for protecting the Guapinol River from being polluted by the Inversiones Los Pinares mine.

The Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project has accompanied this struggle including being present at their first court hearing on August 26, 2019.

These are their individual stories (matched left to right in the drawing above):

I am Daniel and I am 42 years old. I have been imprisoned in Honduras since September 1, 2019 for defending the rivers that give water to my community. I am a member of the Guapinol Water Board and a former migrant in the US. I returned to my community to be a servant of it.

I am Kelvin and I am 31 years old. I have been imprisoned in Honduras since September 1, 2019 for defending the rivers that give water to my community. I am the father of a family and the owner of a small tourism production facility in Guapinol.

I’m Arnol and I’m 24 years old. I grew up by the San Pedro River on the north shore of Honduras, but I’ve been in jail since Sept. 1, 2019 for protecting it from a mine project. I protect the river for my family, especially my daughter who just turned 1.

My name is José Abelino & I’m 36 years old. I’ve been in jail in Honduras since Sept. 1, 2019 for protecting rivers from mining contamination. I live in Guapinol with my daughters & wife. I’m a barber & a member of the Family Ministry the Catholic Church.

I am Ewer and I am 28 years old. Since September 1, 2019 I have been in jail in Honduras as punishment for defending the water that supplies my family. I am an automotive mechanic, originally from Guapinol and committed to the community.

My name is Porfirio & I’m 48 years old. I’m a father & grandfather & work in construction. I have lived in Guapinol, Honduras my whole life but I’ve been in prison since Sept. 1, 2019 for defending my community’s watershed from mining.

My name’s Orbin & I’m 30 years old. I’m a teacher & coordinate Enviro Defense Committee in Sector San Pedro Sector, Honduras, where I live. I’ve been in jail since Sept. 1, 2019 for defending rivers that supply water to my community from a mining project.

I’m Jeremias & I’m 64 years old. I’m a father and a member of a peasant enterprise of the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguan (MUCA). I have been in jail since December 8, 2018, for defending the Guapinol and San Pedro rivers in Honduras.

Earlier this year, 20 Members of the European Parliament signed this letter to the President of Honduras and other officials expressing concern about the pre-trial detention with no sound legal justification of these water defenders.

Peace Brigades International-Canada encourages Members of Parliament in this country to do the same as the MEPs in part due to the diplomatic support provided by Canada for the mining law in Honduras and the obligations outlined in Voices at Risk: Canada’s Guidelines on Supporting Human Rights Defenders.

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