Recently, US Embassy in Honduras met with some Tocoa communities that support a mining project. It has raised concerns about the role of the US government in promoting corporate interests over the safety and well-being of local citizens.
The US Embassy has portrayed the mining project as a source of economic growth and job creation for the region. But environmentalists and activists have pointed out the harsh reality that is often ignored in such discussions.
The region of Tocoa, in northern Honduras, is plagued by violence and lawlessness. Paramilitary groups control much of the land, mining, and drug trafficking in the area.
Tommorow, Feburary 1, at 6:30pm, The Solidarity Collective will hold a webinar on Mining Violence Across Borders in Honduras. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/oCPuOufvgU
— IRTF Cleveland (@IRTFCleveland) January 31, 2023
Activists who speak out against these groups are routinely murdered , and indigenous people are often forcibly evicted from their lands. Anyone who tries to fight back or raise awareness about these issues is at risk of disappearing. It is a tragic reality that has been recognized by the United Nations and human rights organizations.
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The Honduran Agrarian Platform and the Aguan Organizations Coordinator (COPA) recently denounced the murder of environmental activist Santos Rivas . He and his 15-year-old son were shot by hitmen while in the Ilanga community in the Colon department.
Llevo ya varios años reportando el conflicto agrario y el minero en el #BajoAguán. Conocí a Santos cuando me recibió en varias ocasiones en la Finca Panamá. Hoy veo la noticia de que lo asesinaron junto a su hijo 1/2 pic.twitter.com/N9KShhLSnV
— Jennifer Avila (@jenalear) February 13, 2023
This is the seventh murder against environmental activists in the Bajo Aguan area since the beginning of the year. Santos Rivas had publicly denounced threats and harassment by an armed group led by alias Piturro. The group has been operating inside the Paso Aguan farm for several years. The Honduran State “is notable to protect the defenders of land and water in the Aguan,” COPA said.
US interest rule supreme
#Honduras #video Video: Honduran president Xiomara Castro stops eviction of indigenous community pic.twitter.com/n74d8EaBmG
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) February 14, 2022
Furthermore, environmentalists and activists have also pointed out that the mining project would have devastating consequences for the region’s natural resources, including water sources and forests, which are crucial for the livelihoods and cultural practices of local communities. Also, the project would also increase the risk of landslides, pollution, and other environmental hazards. Undoubtedly, these can have long-term consequences for the region’s ecosystem.
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Thus, it is clear that the US Embassy’s meeting with the Tocoa communities that support the mining project is a way to legitimize and promote the interests of the Canadian company. It does not take into account the complex reality of the region and its people.
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