PBI-Honduras accompanies ASODEBICOQ as communities resist second hydroelectric dam on the Cuyagual River
On May 6, PBI-Honduras posted: “We were recently in the Santa Barbara Department, accompanying ASODEBICOQ.”
ASODEBICOQ refers to the Association for the Defense of Common Goods of Quimistán (which is a municipality in the department of Santa Bárbara).
PBI-Honduras further notes: “We accompany communities in the fight for their rights and in resistance for the Cuyagual River, which has been privatized and the hydroelectric company refuses to deliver on its promises. We also accompany the General Assembly process of that organization.”
In February 2019, Radio Progreso reported that the department of Santa Bárbara is “threatened by more than 15 hydroelectric projects and 23 concessions for mining. …Despite strong rejection by the population, they currently intend to build a second hydroelectric dam also on the Cuyagual River.”
Kevin Ramírez Vásquez, a co-founder of ASODEBICOQ, has commented: “The impact the Cuyagual project has had is the pollution of the rivers from where they explode dynamite, explode bombs to loosen rocks and fell deeply-rooted trees.”
“The poison this bomb makes ends up in the freshwater springs, in the river, and it pollutes the river where it kills the animals, the fish, the water-snails.”
“The inhabitants of communities such as San Felipe and Santa Lucia can’t access the rivers because they are privatized. The owners are the businessmen, the owners of the dam. They have militarized the area, installed police posts…”
“We know that for defending our territory, defending the rivers, which are the veins of our Mother Earth, the first thing that comes are the threats. …We know that deaths may await us because they send soldiers when we make blockades or take to the streets.”
He has also stated: “We couldn’t organize demonstrations and occupations before, but since PBI has been supporting us, we have been able to do this.”
“There have been threats but they are less now because they know that foreigners are watching what is happening in the municipality. So, we are safer. PBI is also part of Quimistan. We are like sisters and brothers.”
PBI-Honduras has accompanied ASODEBICOQ since May 2018.