PBI-Honduras accompanies CEHPRODEC in Sazagua, a community affected by hydroelectric dams

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On March 22, PBI-Honduras tweeted:

“Today is International Water Day, yesterday we accompanied @Cehprodechn [the Honduran Centre for the Promotion of Community Development] in the community of Sazagua, La Paz, affected by the construction of two hydroelectric dams. We highlight the work of communities in defense of the environment and access to water.”

On Facebook, PBI-Honduras also posted:

“Today, March 22, we celebrate the International Water Day! The origin of this day is at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in 1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Water, common and vital for all humanity, is today in a state of particular risk because of climate change and the exploitation of resources, aggravated by the action of the human being.

During yesterday March 21, we accompanied CEHPRODEC in their visit to the community of Sazagua in Santiago de Puringla, La Paz, which years ago has been affected by the construction of two hydroelectric dams, regretted the difficulty of being able to have regular access to water.

We highlight the constant advocacy work of the CEHPRODEC organization and environmental activists to support communities in their fight to defend land and natural resources, for a dignified life!”

Anti-dam activist killed in Santiago de Puringla in December 2020

In March 2021, NBC News reported on the murder of an anti-dam activist and added that in December 2020: “Félix Vásquez, a longtime environmental activist from the Lenca Indigenous group, was shot by masked men in front of relatives at his home in Santiago de Puringla.”

The Guardian reported at that time: “Vásquez had been involved in the defence of indigenous land rights since the 1980s and was well-known nationally for organizing opposition to environmentally destructive megaprojects such as mines, hydroelectric dams, wind farms and logging, as well as for helping dispossessed communities recover ancestral land titles.”

Aurora-1, Corral de Piedras and Sazagua dams

Margarita Pineda of the Independent Lenca Indigenous Movement of La Paz (MILPAH) has stated: “Our region has been handed over to transnational companies. Just around our territory there are three hydroelectric dams, Aurora-1, Corral de Piedras and Sazagua, that, since 2009, have caused drought-related deaths in our communities.”

Speaking about Aurora-1, Pineda adds: “The water levels in our rivers and streams have lowered, which has resulted in some communities no longer having access to water. They have also built many roads which have killed  our flora and fauna.”

Shado magazine also provides the context:

“In the midst of the post-coup crisis and after the right-wing National Party of Honduras took power in 2010, the Honduran National Congress approved a General Water Law which allowed for the country’s water resources to be concessioned to third parties. Around the same time, the government named much of Lenca territory as a “productive water zone” and Honduras’ government-owned National Electric Power Company began approving hydroelectric projects like Aurora-1.”

PBI-Honduras has accompanied CEHPRODEC since May 2014.

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