COPINH opposes the reelection of Dante Mossi, accomplice of the Atala family, as president of CABEI.

Press Release 09 – 2023

COPINH opposes the reelection of Dante Mossi, accomplice of the Atala family, as president of CABEI.

COPINH, in view of the intention to re-elect Dante Mossi, executive president of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), in the assembly of governors this Friday, May 12, 2023, informs the national and international community of the following:

Dante Mossi is responsible for directing the actions related to CABEI’s financing of the Agua Zarca Project of the Atala Zablah family, for which our colleague Berta Cáceres was assassinated, for the benefit of certain economic groups and to the detriment of the rights of the victims of violence and indigenous communities.

The CABEI Bank granted a loan of 24.4 million dollars (602.2 million lempiras approx.) in 2014 for the Agua Zarca Hydroelectric Project of the Atala family, without conducting due diligence to verify the legality of the origin of the project, nor the legality of the permits, licenses and concessions, for which there is an ongoing lawsuit. Likewise, CABEI, together with the banks, FMO, Finn Fund and FICOHSA, ignored and violated the consultation and consent rights of the Lenca community of Rio Blanco by imposing their investment.

CABEI failed to monitor the correct use of the funds granted based on the opposition of the Lenca community and to avoid serious Human Rights violations; it financed and supported acts of violence against COPINH and the Lenca community, which meant multiple murders, including that of Berta Cáceres in 2016. Employees of the Atala family were convicted for these acts.

Dante Mossi, as president of CABEI, avoided carrying out an exhaustive evaluation of the financing for the Agua Zarca project, for the reparation of the victims and the damage produced by his investment; and on the contrary, he irregularly promoted the sale of the $24 million loan, for only half a million dollars to the Bancatlan group of his university classmate Guillermo Bueso, which even constitutes a financial loss for the bank. Mossi keeps the information on the Agua Zarca project secret, which shows a lack of transparency and obstructs access to the truth.

Mossi is not only responsible for the violation of rights of the Agua Zarca project, but also for multiple irregularities and arbitrariness in his administration that should be investigated, as well as his links with authoritarian regimes such as those of Juan Orlando Hernández and Daniel Ortega, and with the business and banking mafias of Honduras.

Therefore, COPINH:

1. Calls on President Xiomara Castro, and the governor for Honduras, Rixi Moncada, as well as member countries to not allow the re-election of Dante Mossi as executive president of CABEI.

2. They demand a halt to the financing and support of corrupt, illegitimate, and extractivist projects in the name of development and the closure of this bank’s funds for private projects of corrupt businessmen that bring misery and violence to Honduras and the region.

“They have believed that impunity is eternal. They are wrong, the people know how to do justice!”

Given in La Esperanza, Intibucá on the 9th day of the month of May 2023.

“With the ancestral strength of Berta, Lempira, Mota, Iselaca and Etempica our voices full of life, justice, freedom, dignity and peace are raised.”