Regional News

German parlamentarians demand justice for Honduran environmental activists

Deutsche Welle

Plantón Guapinol 2COVID-19 threatens the entire population globally, but puts the most vulnerable at greater risk, including prisoners in prisons, who, many times, cannot keep their distance due to the lack of space and the deplorable sanitary conditions they live in. This is the situation of seven environmental activists who have been held in preventive detention since last September at the Olanchito Penal Center, in the department of Yoro, Honduras, and another environmental defender who is in a prison in La Ceiba, in the department of Atlántida.

For the Honduran authorities, the eight activists are criminals who hinder the country's economic development. But according to their lawyers, they are citizens who defend fundamental rights such as the right to water. The conflict between the residents of the Guapinol community in the north of the country and Inversiones Los Pinares, a mining company, is prototypical for the situation in Honduras. For years, the community has been fighting against the opening of an iron oxide mine; they consider that the mine puts the natural resources of the area at risk. According to the residents, the contamination of local rivers already occurred during the previous works in the mine: the river are indispensable sources of water for their daily life and economic subsistence.

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CEJIL requests revocation of preventive detention of Guapinol water defenders

GUAPINOL cejilSan José, February 27, 2020.- Today, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) argued before the Honduran Court of Appeals that the deprivation of liberty of seven defenders of the Guapinol rivers and San Pedro must be revoked, as this constitutes an arbitrary measure contrary to international human rights standards and guarantees of due process.

The Honduran Court of Appeals must resolve the appeals filed by the defenders' lawyers to review the imposition of preventive detention since September 01, 2019, after having been formally prosecuted for the crimes of aggravated arson and illegal detention. The process faced by the defenders resulted from a series of peaceful demonstrations carried out in the municipality of Tocoa, Colón, in order to stop the operations of the Los Pinares mining company and protect the Guapinol and San Pedro rivers from contamination.

Through of an amicus curiae brief, CEJIL presented arguments, based on international human rights law standards, to ask that the decision adopted by the Court guarantees the right to defend rights, the right to personal liberty, the presumption of innocence and due process.

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International report finds that the Honduran government violates the rights of Tocoa's environmental defenders

logo acafremin


Tegucigalpa, February 26, 2020 – Preliminary conclusions of a report commissioned by the Central American Alliance against Mining (ACAFREMIN) - presented at the Peoples for Water meeting in Tegucigalpa, Honduras - found that the Honduras government is responsible for the systematic violation of the human rights of communities in Tocoa, department of Colon. These communities are affected by the impacts of the ASP I and ASP II mining concessions owned by Inversiones los Pinares / Ecotek mining.

The research team composed by Dr. Bernie Hammond and Dr. Amanda Grzyb (Western University, Canada), Dr. Michael Berghoef (Ferris State University, USA), Dr. Ainhoa Montoya (University of London, England), and journalist and human rights lawyer, Dimitri Lascaris, made a seven-day visit to Honduras, in June 2019, to verify reports of human rights violations against environmental defenders who oppose the mining project in the municipality of Tocoa, Colón. The project is the property of Lenir Pérez, a businessman is linked to the powerful Facusse family.

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Map reveals Canadian mining company’s environmental, social conflicts

John C. Cannon - Mongabay

Screen Shot 2021 01 18 at 10.32.45 The Environmental Justice Atlas released new maps March 2 alleging that Pan American Silver operates mines  that don’t have the consent of local communities and that pollute local water supplies — assertions that the company denies. In Guatemala, the Canadian mining company gained control of a mine where operations had been suspended because the country’s supreme court ruled that a local indigenous community had not consented to the operation. The atlas uses information gathered from local communities to both raise the profile of their struggle and to connect disparate environmental justice groups doing similar work. The mine in Guatemala remains closed, pending a new consultation process.

Pan American Silver, one of the world’s largest mining companies, operates eight mines in Central and South America that are beset with allegations of environmental disruption and human rights violations, according to information released March 2 by the Environmental Justice Atlas.

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Criminalization increases against environmental defenders and social movements of the Central American region


Social and environmental movements in the defense of human rights, groups of environmental women, indigenous peoples among other expressions organized mainly from the Central American region (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua), participated in the Fifth Regional Meeting of the Central American Alliance Against Mining – ACAFREMIN.  

The theme addressed during the meeting has been "Criminalization of environmental defenders of the movements of the Central American region". The meeting was carried out in the municipality of Ataco in the department of Ahuachapán, El Salvador, on the 13th to the 15th of November, 2019.  

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Tocoa is declared free of mining, but controversial mining project remains active


Tegucigalpa - The town hall through which the municipal corporation of Tocoa declared its territory, located in the department of Colon, free of mining activity, caused the residents' frustration because the local authorities excused themselves from making decisions around the conflicting project of the company Inversiones Los Pinares.

Far from listening to the community´s demands, the town hall meeting generated disagreements between political leaders and residents who described the declaration as a demagogic act of the part of the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE). The open council was led by the municipal corporation of Tocoa, headed by the mayor Adam Funez; the coordinator of LIBRE and former president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, and Members of the Legislative Assembly belonging to LIBRE.

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