Conflicts over land rights, violence and impunity, and lack of adequate social service were major topics of discussion with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Ms. Vicky Tauli Corpuz during her official country visit to Honduras over nine days in November 2015.
The Honduras National Electric Energy Company (ENEE) has suspended payments to small farmers in the department of Olancho for lands acquired from them by the Honduran government to allow for construction of the Patuca III hydroelectric project along the Patuca River.
On May 11th, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency helicopters opened fire on a boat traveling the Patuca River near Ahuas, Honduras, claiming to be targeting drug traffickers in the region. Four Miskitu people were killed and four more seriously injured. It was later revealed that the helicopter was part of a joint Honduran-American anti-drug raid.
The Indigenous Peoples Confederation of Honduras (CONPAH) released a statement calling on the government of Honduras to withdraw a REDD proposal submitted to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. The Indigenous Confederation called on donors to suspend all activities relating to REDD in Honduras. The statement declares that the Honduran government submitted a proposal for a REDD project without consulting the Indigenous peoples whose land would be used for forestation programs.
A recent article in the Honduran press declared that the Patuca III project in Olancho, Honduras, is now 20 percent through its first phase of construction.
Following four days of protests at the construction site for the Patuca III dam, police and military personnel forcibly evicted residents yesterday to prepare for the first phases of dam construction. Residents of Olancho whose land would be flooded by the dam have not been reimbursed for their land nor provided any kind of reparations, according to Congressman Lucas Aguilera. The Patuca III dam is the first in what is expected to be a series of dams built and financed by the Chinese company, SinoHydro.
On October 10, over 100 protesters marched to the Presidential Palace in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to demand a halt to the construction of the Patuca III hydroelectric dam. Miskitu, Garifuna and Lenca marchers called on the government to address 16 issues of concern to the Indigenous peoples of Honduras.
On September 10, 2011, the Honduran president’s office announced that the Minister of Finance signed a contract with the Chinese company Sinohydro to build three dams on the Patuca River, with construction scheduled to start in 2012. Sinohydro expects to fund the project with loans from Chinese financial institutions. A previous contract had only contemplated one dam, Patuca III, which will be built first.
See the full article here.
The Patuca III dam in Honduras is one of more than 250 dam projects being built by Chinese companies in 68 countries, according Peter Bosshard of the advocacy organization International Rivers.
In May 2011, Cultural Survival’s Global Response program launched a campaign to protect the Patuca River from construction of a hydroelectric dam by the Chinese company Sinohydro. This week, campaign partners OFRANEH, (the Federation of Garifuna People of Honduras) posted an expose of Sinohydro’s disreputable history in controversial dam projects around the world.
2011 Human World Geography Conference
Lawrence, KS. Leaders of the Miskitu and Tawahka Indigenous peoples will be at Haskel Indian Nations University this week to promote their campaigns to stop dam construction and to exercise Indigenous autonomy in Honduras’ vast Moskitia wilderness.