La CONROA hace Plantón en contra de la Minería

Honduran Organizations Demand Support for Farming Not Mining

Mas de 100 manifestantes protestaron frente al Hotel Intercontinental, en Tegucigalpa por la Conferencia Internacional denominada “Aprovechamineto Sostenible de los Recursos Minerales” que reunió a representantes del gobierno de Juan Orlando Hernández y a personeros del Banco Mundial e inversionistas internacionales y nacionales.

PRONUNCIAMIENTO

La Coalición Nacional de Redes y Organizaciones Ambientales (CONROA) en el marco del evento “Conferencia sobre el Desarrollo Sostenible de los Recursos Minerales” realizado el 3 y 4 de febrero de 2014 en el Hotel Intercontinental de Tegucigalpa, Honduras, entre el Banco Mundial y el Gobierno de Honduras representado particularmente por el Instituto Hondureño de Geología y Minas (INHGEOMIN), se pronuncia de la siguiente manera:

Según lo ha informado el mismo INHGEOMIN en la actualidad existen unas 487 concesiones de minas otorgadas a compañías mineras, de estas 146 son minería metálica de las cuales 114 se encuentran en explotación en 14 de los 18 departamentos del país, especialmente en Santa Bárbara, Olancho, Francisco Morazán, Comayagua y El Paraíso. Todo lo anterior sin tomar en cuenta que existen otras 140 cu

arenta explotaciones denominadas No Metálicas entre las que se cuentan varias explotaciones de Oxido de Hierro, enorme paradoja: Solamente en Honduras el hierro no es metal!

Todas estas concesiones de minería metálica y no metálica atentan contra el medio ambiente y la salud de las personas en cientos de comunidades debido a lo cual son cada vez mayores los reclamos de la gente para que prevalezcan sus derechos humanos, tales como el derecho a la salud, a la alimentación, al agua y en fin…a la vida, antes de hacer valer los negocios de unas pocas personas y empresas nacionales e internacionales.

Para el pueblo ha quedado demostrado que la minería, especialmente la metálica MATA a las personas y todos los demás seres vivos por su alta toxicidad, por el manejo de metales pesados como el cianuro, el arsénico y el mercurio, las comunidades del Valle de Siria en el departamento de Francisco Morazán son testigos de este infierno y es por eso que muchos municipios ahora han declarado que no quieren Minería.

Por esta manera de pensar se persigue a los defensores de los derechos, se persigue a quien defiende los territorios y ni siquiera se les da el derecho de pronunciarse en sus municipios, NO…el gobierno de JOH y sus cómplices corporaciones municipales, continúan su cruzada de alquilar y vender los territorios contra viento y marea y no dan lugar a la consulta vinculante.

Como ya lo hemos denunciado en muchas ocasiones, la actual ley de minería no ha servido para regular realmente la actividad minera y su aplicación, más bien resulta desventajosa para las comunidades puesto que no considera vinculante la consulta a las comunidades antes del momento de prospección y/o exploración, es decir antes de que existan compromisos entre el Estado y las compañías Transnacionales.

Una ley de minería que lejos de proteger a las comunidades en donde se lleva a cabo esta actividad industrial, más bien las deja en desventaja frente a la libertad en que operan estas compañías amparadas por las garantías que les concede el Estado hondureño para que puedan “invertir” en el país.

Un estudio reciente, muestra cómo la industria minera ha resultado en el desplazamiento de otras actividades productivas como la caficultura. En este estudio se demuestra que a pesar de que la caficultura ocupa casi el mismo espacio del territorio nacional (2.17%) que la minería (2.85%), la caficultura genera más empleo, divisas y distribución de la riqueza. Entonces ¿porque el banco mundial y el Estado no optan por apoyar a más de 120 mil productores de café? a quienes recientemente la roya les afectó seriamente sus cultivos y el Estado Hondureño les ha dejado desprotegidos, sino que por el contrario han decidido apoyar una industria que genera conflicto social pues la minería compite por espacio, agua territorios etc.

La minería no ha sido un factor de desarrollo en ningún país, ya que sus impactos ambientales y sociales no son compensados por los ingresos y los escasos empleos que generan.

Es por todos estos motivos que la CONROA se pronuncia en contra de este evento que realizan Banco Mundial, INGEOMIN y Gobierno de JOH para impulsar una actividad que ha provocado no sólo daños ambientales, sino también conflictos sociales y el despojo del legítimo territorio a las poblaciones hondureñas.

No podemos seguir soportando que el Gobierno sea cómplice de las compañías mineras. No podemos seguir soportando que las empresas de seguridad al servicio de las mineras atropellen a la población que piensa distinto y que persiga hasta la muerte a las y los defensores de Derechos Humanos y Ambientales.

Exigimos que el Estado hondureño cumpla con el papel que le corresponde y que el destino de los bienes naturales de Honduras, entre ellos el territorio, se discuta en espacios incluyentes en donde las comunidades mismas puedan expresar también su punto de vista, pues son ellas quienes al final sufren todas las consecuencias del extractivismo que hoy los administradores del Estado impulsan como la gran panacea para el desarrollo nacional a costa del empobrecimiento y la muerte de hondureñas y hondureños.

Tegucigalpa 4 de febrero de 2015
Por la consulta Vinculante
No a la Minería en Honduras
Coalición Nacional de Redes y Organizaciones Ambientales de Honduras
CONROA

Translated from the original in Spanish. Available online via rabble.ca, by Mining Watch Canada.

Last week, the Honduran National Coalition of Environmental Networks and Organizations (CONROA by its initials in Spanish) protested a World Bank-sponsored “Conference on Sustainable Development of Natural Resources” in Tegucigalpa.

Honduras

CONROA urged the Bank – and the Honduran government – to support coffee farmers instead of national and transnational mining companies, stating that that farming creates more jobs, income and better distribution of wealth without the long-lasting environmental impacts, public health problems and social conflict that mining generates.

They also demanded that community consultation be made binding before any mining activities take place on community territory, meaning before mineral prospection or exploration activities are approved. The current mining law – passed in January 2013 with technical support paid for with Canadian overseas development aid – only makes provisions for non-binding community consultation at a late stage, just before projects get final approval to go into operation. At this stage, if the results of community consultation are taken seriously at all, the Honduran state could be left open to foreign companies suing the country under the provisions of trade pacts, such as the Canada Honduras Free Trade Agreement, if they make a decision that a company doesn’t like.

The dirty legacy of Canadian companies such as Goldcorp and its San Martín mine in the Honduran Siria Valley continue to be a reference point for many municipalities in Honduras that are declaring their territories free of mining, despite the risk they run of being threatened and even killed when they do so.

Honduras 2

 

Honduran National Coalition of Environmental Networks and Organizations
Public Declaration, February 4, 2015

(Tegucigalpa) In the context of the “Conference on Sustainable Development of Natural Resources,” February 3-4, 2014, in the Hotel Intercontinental, Tegucigalpa, Honduras hosted by the World Bank Group and the Honduran Government, in particular the Honduran Institute for Geology and Mines (INHGEOMIN), the National Coalition of Environmental Networks and Organizations (CONROA by its initials in Spanish) makes the following declaration:

According to INHGEOMIN, there are currently 487 mining oncessions that have been granted to mining companies, 146 of which are for metallic mining and 114 of these which are for the extraction stage of mining. They are located in 14 of 18 departments around the country, especially in Santa Barbara, Olancho, Francisco Morazán, Comayagua and El Paraíso. Another 140 non-metallic concessions for extraction have been granted, which include iron ore operations, revealing a tremendous paradox: Only in Honduras is iron not a metal!

All of these metallic and non-metallic concessions pose a threat to the environment and public health in hundreds of communities. For this reason, communities are protesting more and more in defence of their human rights, including for the right to health, nutrition, and water, or in other words, life, wanting these to prevail over the business interests of a handful of people and national and international companies.

It has been clearly demonstrated to Hondurans that mining, especially metallic mining, kills both people and other living things given the toxicity of related contamination and the use of heavy metals like cyanide, arsenic and mercury. Communities in the Siria Valley in the department of Francisco Morazán are witnesses to this hell and as a result, many municipalities are saying no to mining.

As a result of their protests, human rights defenders and those who defend their territories are being pursued, denying them the right to say no in their municipalities. The government of Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) and complicit municipal corporations continue to rent and sell off Honduran territory come what may and refuse to make community consultations binding.

As we have said many times before, the current mining law does not serve to regulate mining and its use, rather it puts communities at a disadvantage given that community consultations are not binding before prospection and exploration activities take place, that is before there commitments are made between the state and transnational companies.

Far from protecting mining-affected communities, the mining law puts them at a disadvantage compared to the freedom with which companies operate, with protections from the Honduran state to ensure that they can “invest” in the country.

A recent study demonstrates that the mining industry displaces other productive activities such as coffee farming in Honduras. This study shows that, although coffee farming uses nearly the same surface area in Honduras (2.17%) as mining (2.85%) that it creates more jobs, income, and distribution of wealth. So then, why would the World Bank and the state not support the more than 120,000 coffee farmers whose crops were seriously affected by a plague and who were abandoned by the state? Instead, they support an industry that has created social conflict as a result of how mining competes for space, water and territorial control, etc.

Mining has not contributed to development in any country, given that the income and few jobs that this activity generates do not compensate for the environmental and social impacts.

For all these reasons, CONROA opposes the event hosted by the World Bank, INGEOMIN and the government of JOH to promote an activity that has not only provoked environmental damage, but also social conflict and displacement of Honduran communities from their legitimate territory.

We cannot continue supporting the government’s complicity with mining companies. We cannot continue supporting the security companies who serve the mining companies and attack those who think differently, even pursuing environmental and human rights defenders until they are dead.

We demand that the Honduran state fulfil its responsibility and that Honduras’ natural commons, including the territory, is debated in inclusive spaces where communities themselves can express their point of view, given that at the end of the day it is they who will suffer the consequences of extractivism that state administrators are promoting as if it were a great panacea for national development at the cost of the impoverishment and death of Hondurans.

Yes to binding community consultation
No to mining in Honduras
CONROA

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