PBI-Honduras accompanies COPINH on visit to Rio Blanco as the fight to defend Lenca ancestral territory continues

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On October 28, PBI-Honduras tweeted: “PBI accompanies @COPINHHONDURAS on a visit to the Río Blanco community. We observe the scars left by the DESA company. They continue to fight defending their ancestral territory and highlight the need for visits from international organizations.”

On Facebook, PBI-Honduras adds: “The Lenca community expresses concern over the possible re-installation of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project in its territory, since the company continues with the concession granted without prior consultation.”

In March 2019, Vice reported: “All three foreign investors—including Dutch [entrepreneurial development] bank FMO, Finnish finance company FinnFund, and the Central American Bank of Economic Integration (CABEI)—have withdrawn from the [Agua Zarca] project, putting the construction project on indefinite hold.”

However, it adds: “DESA owns the concession for 50 years, [COPINH general coordinator Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres] says, meaning the company has the exclusive right to work the land until 2059.”

She highlighted: “They have not given up and apparently have no intention of abandoning the project altogether.”

At this time, we also recall that less than a year before she was murdered, COPINH co-founder Berta received death threats related to her opposition to the construction of a dam on the Canjel River on Lenca territory by Montreal-based Hydrosys.

The Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project began accompanying the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) in May 2016, three months after the murder of Cáceres.


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