PBI-Honduras visits with the criminalized Guapinol water defenders in the Olanchito prison
On August 11, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted: “PBI visits the 7 environmental defenders of Guapinol and San Pedro sector in the prison center of Olanchito, who are facing a criminalization process for the defence of water.”
PBI-Honduras adds: “After two years of detention, August 26, the hearing of proposition of evidence before the Trujillo Court of Sentence begins. Transparency and publicity are necessary to ensure due process.”
Their post also highlights that the families of the defenders and the Municipal Committee in Defense of the Common and Public Assets demand justice, asking “Why are they in prison if they are defending water and land?”
Last month, PBI-Honduras also noted that the Guapinol defenders “express the importance of the international presence in the judicial process that will begin in the coming months.”
PBI-Canada continues to closely follow this judicial process.
Criterio has reported: “Daniel Márquez, Kelvin Romero, José Abelino Cedillo, Porfirio Sorto, Orbin Hernández, Arnold Alemán, Ewer Cedillo Cruz and Jeremías Martínez Díaz are being held in illegal pretrial detention for the defense of the Guapinol and San Pedro rivers.”
Seven share the same cell in Olanchito prison, while the eighth defender, Jeremías Martínez Díaz, is being held in La Ceiba prison.
They are being held for their peaceful participation in a protest camp intended to stop the Inversiones Los Pinares iron oxide mine polluting the water sources that originate in the Carlos Escaleras Mountain National Park.
“[They are being held in jail] despite the opinion and recommendations issued by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions and the amparos presented by Honduran civil society organizations to remedy the ruling issued by the judiciary.”
PBI-Honduras has been accompanying various processes in relation to the defenders of the Guapinol River for the past two years.