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. The protesters marched first from Boulevard Centroamerica to the Presidential Palace and later demonstrated in front of the national congress, performing traditional Indigenous dances and songs. Organizers stated they intend to maintain actions in the capital city as long as is necessary to get a positive response from the government.
MASTA, the governance body of the Miskitu people, released a statement calling for government action to:
- Halt construction of Patuca III dam project
- Implement ILO Convention 169 on all issues of land use within Indigenous territories
- Authorize property titles on traditional lands
- Halt the expropriation of land for the cultivation of African palm, conservation areas, and the construction of prisons, which is currently occurring without the consent of Indigenous peoples
- Remove all national and foreign military bases located in Indigenous territory
- Improve the educational infrastructure and tailor the education system to meet the needs of the Indigenous communities
- Provide reparations to Miskitu divers who have been disabled due to inhumane practices among lobster companies
- Authorize legal recognition of Indigenous autonomy
Learn more about the fight to stop the Patuca III dam in Global Response’s Action Alert issued in May of 2011.
Download the full explanation of MASTA’s objectives and demands here. (Spanish only).