PBI-Canada following today’s court hearing on pre-trial detention measures for the Guapinol water defenders
The eight Guapinol water defenders will be in court today at 9 am Honduras time (10 am EST) in the city of Tocoa in northern Honduras.
The Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project has posted: “This Friday, December 18, the hearing to review measures for the defenders of the Guapinol River will be held, they have been in custody for more than 15 months. It is essential to ensure the publicity, transparency and observation of this process.”
PBI has also tweeted: “We’ll be following the hearing of the HRDs in the Guapinol Case. Int’l observation is necessary to support their demands for justice.”
Yesterday, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) asked the State of Honduras to revoke the pre-trial detention measures for the defenders. CEJIL said the detention of these human rights defenders constitutes an “arbitrary measure contrary to international human rights standards and due process guarantees.”
EFE reports: “According to the Regional Agricultural Platform of the Aguán Valley, Colón, the conflict in Guapinol arises ‘because of the illegality of the granting of the mining operation to the company Inversiones Pinares (formerly Emco Mining Company), owned by Lenir Pérez and Ana Facussé (daughter of the late tycoon Miguel Facussé)’.”
“This project affects Carlos Escaleras Park, since through a decree presented in 2012 the core area of the protected area has been reduced from 24,223 to 24,006 hectares.”
“[CEJIL says] the communities of Guapinol and San Pedro, in Tocoa, have been ‘systematically criminalized and harassed’ since the Camp for Water and Life was installed in 2018 in defense of its territories and natural property.”
That EFE article adds: “The Center for Justice and International Law also called on Honduras to ensure ‘international publicity and observation’ of judicial proceeding hearings against water defenders and demanded ‘a total cessation of harassment’ against the community of Guapinol and San Pedro.”
PBI-Honduras has been accompanying various processes in relation to the defenders of the Guapinol River for the past 22 months.
The eight water defenders have been imprisoned since the end of August 2019.
On August 26, 2019, PBI-Honduras posted: “This morning we were present at the hearing for the presentation of the accused of 7 new defendants (for illegal association, robbery and aggravated fire) in the Guapinol case for the defence of natural assets.”
The eighth water defender, Jeremias Martinez, was put in jail on December 8, 2018.