This morning, August 15th, 2017, Honduran police are in the process of using tanks, tear-gas and violence to displace the non-violent “Camp Dignity” encampment of community members in the Pajuiles community in the municipality of Tela, Honduras who for months have been protesting the intrusion of the HIDROCEP corporation owned by Jaison Hawit into the Cordillera Nombre de Dios mountains to dam up the Mezapa River.
Several community members have been beaten and gassed and five have been arrested, including a woman who is six months pregnant. The detained are Albertina López Melgar (who is six months pregnant), Wendy Yanery García, Kevin Javier Linares, Juan Bautista Santos and a minor whose name we have been unable to confirm.
La Voz de los de Abajo was able to reach Albertina in prison who has the following to say:
“What they are doing here in our country is repressing us just for defending our right to water. The police don’t help us but when the corporation calls them they come and repress us and detain people. We have 13 people already criminalized and now five more of us arrested this morning. We want to call out to the international community and let you know that we are indignant as a Honduran people facing the repressive system we live under. The people are being harshly repressed with tear gas and tanks. We hold the authorities responsible and the people who finance them and who finance these projects. We are ending up without water and that is all we have for future generations. They need to think twice, they are doing damage, both social and ecological damage. We pay taxes just like them, but the police are only there to defend them. Right now they are trying to get two machines through our encampment to the dam site by any means they can and I am very worried there will be a loss of life because they are using everything they have to repress us.”
Spanish speakers can make calls to:
English speakers please call:
- U.S. State Department – Bureau of Western Hemispheric Affairs – 202-647-5402 – Let them know about this unfolding human rights crisis and ask they call their counterparts in the Honduran government.
- Your congressperson – Let them know about the situation in Pajuiles and ask they support the Berta Cáceres Law for Human Rights in Honduras to cut off military and police aid that is being used for assassinations and other human rights violations like the violent operation underway right now. http://witnessforpeace.org/bertacaceresact/