Public Statement

By way of this public statement COPINH (Consejo Cí vico de Organizaciones
Populares e Indí genas de Honduras – Civic Council of Popular and
Indigenous Organizations of Honduras), wishes to alert the national and
international community to the following, in the face of the fresh threat
to life, sovereignty, biodiversity, health, water and dignity of the
Honduran people, particularly its indigenous and black peoples and farming
and rural communities, presented by the imminent adoption of a mining and
hydrocarbons law in Honduras:

1.- In Honduras the National Congress is due to discuss and adopt a mining
and hydrocarbons bill which would be extremely harmful to indigenous and
black peoples, and farming and rural communities, to populations already
affected and threatened, and to the Honduran people in general. Although
the congressional committee has not wanted to make the substance of this
law public, we know that it maintains its submissive approach in relation
to transnationals and big business.

2.- This bill is just a further example of the pressure that the business
world exerts on Congress, most of which is composed of supporters of the
coup d’état, and which is discredited because of its lack of ethics and
transparency, because many of its decisions are dictated by corruption, and
because of its servile attitude to economic, transnational, political and
military power.

3.- There are over 130 mining applications pending, part of the auction of
natural resources and endless plundering in Honduras, which is combined
with the surrender over 30% of national territory to transnational mining
companies via 370 concessions, with 21 more approved in recent weeks, a
situation which will have an unprecedented cost in its destruction of the
Honduran people’s way of life.

4.- We all know about the impunity in which these transnationals of death
operate, not even waiting for laws or decrees before entering the country
and embarking on studies, exploration and mining. We all know about the
constant violation of the rights of original peoples and other rural
communities, just as it was 500 years ago, about the humiliating presents,
the contamination of water, the damage to the health of human beings and
other forms of life, about how unsustainable and inappropriate such
activities are, and that they are one of the greatest expressions of
colonialism, oppression and death.

5.- The mafia intent on selling this country off has apparently postponed
the debate until next week in response to pressure from civil society; we
declare from the lands of Lempira that we are once again preparing to
fight the death bill of national corporations which seeks to wipe us out.

6.-We call on communities and other organizations to fight and mobilize, to
oppose these transnationals and big business, in the capital, on our lands,
communities wielding power from below through autonomy and
self-determination, exercising our ancestral and communal rights, and
rights as a people dreaming of a Honduras genuinely refounded and without
mining projects.

With the ancestral strength of Iselaca, Lempira, Mota, Etempica, we raise
our voices, full of life, justice, freedom, dignity and peace!

Intibucá, 18 January 2012


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