PBI-Honduras accompanies criminalized Guapinol River defenders as their trial concludes
On February 4, PBI-Honduras tweeted: “PBI accompanies for more than 3 years to defenders of @guapinolre who defend natural assets and good living for future generations. In the conclusions stage, we remain by your side and we trust that the liberation and integral reparation established by the United Nations will be fulfilled.”
The Canadian Embassy for Honduras (that is based in Costa Rica) has retweeted the PBI-Honduras tweet and commented: “Canada is closely following the Guapinol trial and advocates a trial with strict adherence to due process and considering the obligations of the state of Honduras with respect to the protection of human rights, including the ruling of the working group of the UN on arbitrary arrests.”
The concluding remarks in the trial of the Guapinol defenders began this morning at the courthouse in Tocoa, Colon.
Global Exchange has noted: “The concluding remarks lay out a summary of the case from the perspectives of the prosecutors, the ‘private accusers’ representing mining company Inversiones Los Pinares, and each of the defense attorneys. The water defenders are present as well.”
Yesterday (February 3), Mary Lawlor also tweeted: “All eyes on Honduras as a verdict is due early next week on the Guapinol defenders. UN Working Group ruled their detention to be arbitrary. One of [Honduran president] @XiomaraCastroZ’s priorities as newly elected president is to set them free. The court’s decision should be easy: release them.”
The struggle to defend the Guapinol River
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) has explained: “In August 2018, when development of the mine began to contaminate the drinking water for 14 nearby communities, residents of Guapinol erected a ‘Camp in Defense of Water and Life’.”
The camp was in place for 90 days. The UUSC notes: “In October 2018, 1,500 Honduran military and police officers violently attacked and evicted the camp.”
One of the defenders has been imprisoned since December 8, 2018, while seven have been incarcerated since September 1, 2019.
This week Criterio also reported: “The Municipal Committee for the Defense of Common and Public Goods warned that, in these 29 months of illegal detention, the mining company Los Pinares, of the Emco Group, has continued its projects despite the wide rejection against it that was manifested in the open council of November 2019.”
We continue to watch with concern from Canada.