PBI-Honduras accompanies Guapinol community in artistic workshop that sows seeds of hope to continue fight against mega-mining

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On April 5, PBI-Honduras has posted:

Recently, we were visiting the community of Guapinol, in the department of Columbus, which condemns the pollution of the river waters, due to the presence of a mega mining project established next to their lands, against which the community continues to resist. #GuapinolResists

We accompany the community in an artistic workshop, an occasion to share, gather ideas and talents, which sowed seeds of hope to continue in the fight and defense of life. The natural dyes used were collected and transformed from the muddy lands of the Guapinol River itself.

From PBI we express our concern for the situation in which the community of #Guapinol is and emphasize the work and determination of all environmental advocates.

Status of the mine

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.

In February 2022, EFE reported: “[The company] 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.”

In July 2022, Criterio.hn reported: “[Guapinol River defender Reynaldo] Dominguez pointed out [that] environmental pollution is being created by the installation of a stone crusher on the banks of the San Pedro River, which at the same time has contaminated the Guapinol and San Pedro rivers with a high percentage of iron.”

In September 2022, the Office in Honduras of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) visited the area “to observe the environmental and social impacts of the mining projects that are installed in the National Park and the consequences of these on the rights of the surrounding communities related to the human right to water [Resolution 64/292] and to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment [Resolution 76/300].”

OACNUDH photo.

On December 4, 2022, PBI-Honduras accompanied the Municipal Committee for the Defense of Common and Public Property of Tocoa (CMDBCPT) as they traveled to Tegucigalpa to request that the state entity known as the Honduran Institute of Geology and Mines (INHGEOMIN) resolve the two requests made for cancellation of open-pit mining contracts signed between INHGEOMIN and Inversiones Los Pinares.

We continue follow this situation with concern.

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