CEHPRODEC lawyer Andrea Regina Pineda applauds Honduran government’s plan to review, suspend and cancel mining permits

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On March 3, Mongabay reported: “The [Honduran] government is no longer granting environmental permits for open-pit mining projects, the Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Mines said in a statement.”

The article adds: “It also plans to shut down open-pit mines already in operation.”

The Mongabay article further reports: “[The government] plans to carry out a ‘review, suspension and cancelation’ of environmental licenses, permits and concessions that are already in existence.”

The article then quotes Andrea Regina Pineda, an attorney with the Honduran Center for the Promotion of Community Development (CEHPRODEC).

She says: “We applaud the initiative of this new administration, considering that we are coming out of a dictatorial government that for so many years passed laws unfavorable to Indigenous and rural communities and the environment in Honduras.”

After the government’s announcement, Pineda also tweeted: “Extractivism is a violent and murderous model, which was used by the State as a strategy to dispossess communities and persecute their leaders. Great achievement for the peoples and the struggles for the defense of the territory and the common natural assets.”

According to Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Mining Assets (CMAs) in Honduras amounted to $78 million in 2019.

It further notes that Canadian companies operated 4 mines in Honduras in 2019 and that number was projected to increase to 5 mines in 2020.

On February 28 of this year, Reuters reported: “Canada’s Aura Minerals (ORA.TO) operates an open-pit mine in western Honduras, where it has encountered stiff local opposition in part due to alleged disturbances to a Maya-Chorti indigenous cemetery. Last year, the company suspended operations due to what it described as illegal blockades.”

That article adds: “Aura Minerals’ San Andres mine processed more than 4.4 million tonnes of ore in 2020, producing nearly 61,000 ounces of gold, according to the company’s website.”

Historically, the Canadian Embassy in Honduras has supported mining.

In April 2014, MiningWatch Canada’s then Latin America program coordinator Jennifer Moore spoke to a Canadian parliamentary committee about the Honduran mining law that was passed in post-coup Honduras in January 2013.

Moore stated: “This law was developed and passed with strong diplomatic support from the Canadian embassy, and with contributions from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the former Canadian International Development Agency.”

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 (IACHR).

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.”

It’s not clear Canada’s position on the Honduran government’s plan to carry out a “review, suspension and cancelation” of existing permits and concessions.

The Twitter account of the Embassy of Canada in Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua has not commented yet on the February 28th announcement.

PBI-Honduras began accompanying CEHPRODEC in May 2014.

Photo: PBI accompanies CEHPRODEC at a mass protest against the International Mining Congress, July 2015.

Further reading

MiningWatch Canada:

Above Ground:

Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability:


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