Honduras

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Our Program

Development and Peace’s program in Honduras is centred on the access and local management of natural resources, and supports affected communities in their efforts to defend their land and their rights. It supports local organizations working on human and environmental rights. Many of these groups face an increasing level of insecurity and threats to the lives of their members for opposing large-scale corporate development projects.

Honduras

“The work of human rights defenders is critical for building a democratic society and for the consolidation of the rule of law.” The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Development and Peace, which has been working in the country since 1968, immediately implemented an emergency relief program to help disaster victims affected by Hurricane Mitch, which struck Central America in 1998.

Listening to the population, who wanted to transform this tragedy into an opportunity to become better organized and less vulnerable, Development and Peace established an extensive program that brought together women's associations, water management groups, small farmers, and development committees.

It supports its partners in raising awareness on the controversial government initiative of creating model cities (ZEDE), as a way to attract foreign investment.

 

The issues we work on to build justice:

Democracy and citizen participation icon

Democracy
and citizen participation

Equality between women and men icon

Equality between
women and men

Natural resources icon

Natural Resources

Ecological Justice icon

Ecological Justice

 

The situation

Honduras is rich in natural resources, including gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, antimony and coal. The mining industry, which represents significant financial investment for the country, has negatives consequences on the lives of many communities that live near mining site, and on the environment, given the pollution of water sources.

Despite its underground wealth, Honduras remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America, with more than half of the population living below the poverty line. The country is prone to earthquakes, floods and hurricanes. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch caused major damage to the city of Tegucigalpa.

In addition, Honduras is characterized by an extreme degree of violence aimed at human and environmental rights defenders, eliciting particular concern from the international community in recent years.

News
May 24, 2016

On January 7th, 2016, Nilce Magalhães de Souza disappeared from her home, never to be seen again. Nicinha, as she was known locally, was a leader in the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) in Brazil, which is a Development and Peace partner.

April 25, 2016

Development and Peace and Mining Watch Canada are calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to give special attention to an open letter from close to 200 Latin American and international organizations...

April 20, 2016
According to the organization Global Witness, more than 109 human and environmental rights defenders were killed in Honduras between 2010 and 2015.
March 7, 2016

Development and Peace adds its voice to those of its Honduran partners in the unequivocal condemnation of the abhorrent assassination of Berta Cáceres, president of Coordinating Group of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), in the early hours of March 2nd, 2016.

October 26, 2015
The 2015 Food Sovereignty Prize was awarded to the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), a federation of organizations dedicated to defending the political, cultural and territorial rights of the Garifuna people. The Garifuna are among the poorest farmers and fisherfolk in Honduras and they are constant victims of discrimination, marginalization and racism. In spite of efforts to defend their land, water, agriculture and way of life, the Garifuna are regularly expelled from their territory by investors, most notably foreign investors. Their members are also victims of assassinations, death threats and intimidation.
November 28, 2014

The courageous work of Development and Peace’s Honduran partner Fundación ERIC was recently recognized by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, which presented the organization with its “Legacy of the Martyrs” award.

September 11, 2014

Executive Director Michael Casey has written to the President of Honduras' Supreme Court of Justice to express concern regarding intimidation of indigenous Lenca communities supported by Development and Peace in the western department of La Paz.

July 4, 2014

The small town of San Francisco is nestled between the blue cloud-wrapped mountains and verdant tropical forests of the Pico Bonito National Park, and the sultry fruit-producing plains of the northern Atlantic coast of Honduras. A former banana plantation that borders the park has been replaced by pineapples for export.

April 17, 2014

Development and Peace is shocked by the murder of Carlos Mejia Orellana, head of marketing at the Jesuit-run Radio Progreso, on Honduras’ north coast, and deplores the dramatic deterioration of the human rights situation in Honduras since the coup d’état in 2009.

November 21, 2013

In the run up to general elections in Honduras on November 24, Development and Peace has challenged the government of Canada for signing the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Accord (FTA).

April 19, 2013

The people of the Siria Valley in Honduras may have breathed a sigh of relief in 2010 with the closure of the Canadian-owned San Martin gold mine that sits in their midst, but now they must brace themselves for further environmental destruction and depletion of their water supply.

Fernando is the group leader of the Indigenous Lenca Movement of La Paz, who are trying to reclaim their land.
April 18, 2013

In Honduras’ mountainous southern department of La Paz, mornings are chilly and the altitude is ideal for coffee growing. Here, the dark-skinned indigenous Lenca people make up 80% of the population. Yet, from the poverty and the discrimination they endure, one might think they were a minority.

Women of the Siria Valley have heavy metal presence in their blood due to a mine
March 8, 2013

It has now been two years since the suited managers of the San Martin open pit gold mine, owned by Goldcorp, packed their bags and left the Siria Valley in central Honduras. They had spent literally hundreds of hours of air time, reassuring the population that the mine hadn’t harmed the surrounding environment.

August 1, 2012

Israel Garcia Perez, a member of an Aguan peasant group, was found dead, with bullet wounds marking his body,  early morning Saturday July 28th, at the Los Laureles property on the outskirts of Tocoa. His death brought to 52 the number of peasants violently killed in this region in less than 3 years.

June 8, 2012

A public hearing on the human rights situation in the Lower Aguan region of Honduras took place on May 28, 2012, in the city of Tocoa, Colon. Severe land conflicts in this region continue to pit peasants against large land holders who have disputed previous governments' attempt at land reform, and have resulted in serious and ongoing human rights violations.

Local people remembering the victims of human rights violations
February 28, 2012

For most people, the mention of the Kyoto Protocol does not evoke an association with the tropical lowlands of Honduras, nor with human rights abuses.

January 26, 2012

A few months after the conclusion of controversial negotiations between Canada and Honduras on a Free Trade Agreement, the Honduran Congressional Committee on Mining announced on January 16th that a new Mining Bill has just been concluded and is to be debated in Congress.