PBI-Honduras learns more about the struggle against the Aurora I dam on Lenca territory

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On December 14, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted: “Last week we learned more about the struggle of San José Civil Society against hydroelectric megaprojects in the municipality of La Paz and for a more participatory society.”

PBI-Honduras adds: “Although the Aurora I hydroelectric plant is already working, they assure that ‘these 10 years of struggle have been worth it to raise awareness’ and avoid other projects in the area.”

In October 2016, MiningWatch Canada noted: “On July 6th, Lesbia Yaneth Urquía was murdered in apparent connection with her opposition to a hydroelectric dam project on Lenca territory, the Aurora I project in the municipality of San José, La Paz.”

The Guardian has reported: “Urquía, a mother of three children, was a member of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH) and had been working to stop a hydroelectric projects in Honduras’s western La Paz department.”

Friends of the Earth International has reported: “Lesbia found herself in a distrustful context, in the framework of a ‘consultation’ process conducted by the Honduran government for the approval of a bill to regulate the Free, Prior, and Informed Consultation mechanism on July 4-5 in Marcala, La Paz.”

It was in Marcala where Lesbia was murdered.

COPINH stated: “The death of Lesbia Yaneth is a political femicide that tries to silence the voices of women with courage and the bravery to defend their rights. We hold the Honduras government directly responsible for this murder.”

Frontline Defenders has further noted: “The company behind the [Aurora I hydroelectric dam] project is owned by Gladys Aurora López, president of the National Party and vice-president of the National Congress.”

And Radio Mundo has highlighted: “Hydroelectric dams are the main projects threatening the COPINH communities. There are over 50 projects of this kind throughout the country.”

PBI-Honduras began accompanying the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) in May 2016. Berta Cáceres, the co-founder and coordinator of COPINH, was killed in March 2016.

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