PBI-Honduras visits community of Guapinol where river defenders continue to oppose Los Pinares iron oxide mine

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On August 10, PBI-Honduras tweeted:

“We recently made a visit to the community of Guapinol. We remember that the liberation of the defenders of the river was an advance, but the problem continues. The community continues to raise its voice to remember that the river is a source of life for all of Honduras.”

The struggle against the Los Pinares iron oxide mine

The Guapinol River defenders oppose the Inversiones Los Pinares open-pit iron oxide mine in the Montaña de Botaderos Carlos Escaleras Mejía National Park.

When the company began building an access road to the planned mine site in March 2018, the tap water in Guapinol turned brown and thick with muddy sediment.

By August 2018, the community established a Camp in Defence of Water and Life that blocked the construction of the access road.

Then in October 2018, more than 1,500 police officers and military personnel began the forceful expulsion of the protest camp and the criminalization process against the Guapinol River defenders began.

On February 9 of this year, six of the river defenders were convicted for alleged actions against the mining operation.

The next day, the Constitutional Chamber annulled their convictions and they were then released on February 24.

Lenir Pérez and Inversiones Los Pinares (ILP)

Guapinol Resists has stated: “Lenir Pérez and his wife Ana Facussé, daughter of the late Honduran oligarch and businessman Miguel Facussé, are the owners of ILP. Lenir Pérez is a businessman previously linked to the execution of construction contracts illegally granted by the government of President Hernández (Global Witness 2017).”

EFE has also reported: “Los Pinares has installed a processing plant for iron oxide pellets in the municipality of Tocoa, department of Colón and has requested an ‘expansion of the area of the concession from 100 hectares to 1,000 hectares.”

We continue to follow this situation from Canada.

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