PBI-Honduras accompanies CEHPRODEC to courthouse along with environmental defender Betty Vásquez

Published by Brent Patterson on

On February 2, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted on their Facebook page: “Last week we accompanied CEHPRODEC to the Santa Barbara Palace of Justice where the defender Betty Vásquez of the Santa Barbara Environmental Movement (MAS) was going to file a legal action against a journalist who defamed her for her work defending the land and the environment.”

PBI-Honduras adds: “Finally, there was conciliation and the journalist agreed to publicly apologize through local television.”

In December 2020, Pasos de Animal Grande reported: “Organizations warn of the risk of territorial defender Betty Vasquez, who is being discredited by opposition to the installation of a dam in the El Tornillito sector, in Chinda, Santa Barbara department.”

Vasquez and MAS oppose “the installation of dams in the area, as they would affect 75 percent of the population that uses river water for daily consumption.”

“Vasquez noted that a smear campaign from the media of deputies in the National Congress by the National Party, Mario Pérez and Marcos Paz, who in support of the projects could be related and the one that issues the accusatory comments is the communicator, Edward Fernández, apparently in support of them.”

That article also noted: “The people of Chinda repeatedly mentioned that hydroelectric dam projects in the area have affected at least 200 families using the river for laundry, agriculture and fisheries, and the implementation of them did not respect Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization which obliges the State to take into account the views of the peoples in main indigenous peoples.”

Radio Progreso has reported that the department of Santa Bárbara is “threatened by more than 15 hydroelectric projects and 23 concessions for mining.”

In May 2014, CEHPRODEC contributed to the report The Impact of Canadian Mining in Latin America and Canada’s Responsibility that was submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. That report noted:

“The political and economic support Canada gives Canadian companies (through mechanisms such as Export Development Canada (EDC), the Investment Board of the Canadian Pension Plan, and the Canadian International Development Agency) is provided without adequate controls to prevent the violation of human rights in the countries where the companies that receive these benefits operate.”

PBI-Honduras has accompanied the Honduran Centre for the Promotion of Community Development (CEHPRODEC) since May 2014.

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