- About Us
- Rapid Response Network
- Young Adults
- Get Involved
- Memory & Resistance Coalition
You are here
Environmental Human Rights: News & Updates
October 12, 2020
A group of armed men arrived at the Garífuna community of Vallecito, whose residents have been victim to harassment, intimidation and threats over their land for many years. Attempts at forcible seizure of their territory (sometimes successful) has come from drug traffickers and African palm growers. In recent years, private investors (including many from the US and Europe) have been looking at Vallecito and other Garífuna communities on the Atlantic Coast to build their Model Cities, which was authorized under the ZEDE (Economic Development Zone) legislation passed in 2013. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has criticized the government of Honduras for not adhering to its mandates to protect Garífuna ancestral lands and adequately investigate the murders of Garífuna community leaders. As recently as May 2019, the Court acknowledged that Garífuna community members are still experiencing "direct death threats," "blackmail, increased robbery," and "profiling of leaders."
October 6, 2020
“Every day that passes we know less about him. He’s weak, he’s had Covid symptoms; we worry about his health and safety in the prison.” Gabriela Sorto expresses great concern for her father Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, a 48-year-old builder and farm worker, who is one of eight protesters from Guapinol held in pre-trial detention since September 2019 for alleged crimes linked to their opposition to an iron oxide mine which threatens to contaminate their water supply. The community of Guapinol (named for its river) is in the fertile, mineral-rich Bajo Agua region, where for years subsistence farmers and indigenous Hondurans have been forcibly displaced, criminalized and killed in conflicts with powerful conglomerates over land and water. “My dad has been jailed for defending a river which gives our community life, for trying to stop the exploitation of natural resources by rich companies who the government helps to terrorize us,” said Gabriela Sorto.
October 5, 2020
The ZEDEs (Zonas de Empleo y Desarrollo) -- also known as "model cities" -- continue stirring up controversy on the pages of the daily newspapers and on the streets of Honduras in the form of organized resistance. Edmundo Orellano is the former foreign minister and former defense minister of Honduras. In this article published in La Tribuna, he describes the ZEDEs this way: "We are handing over the territory and sovereignty, displacing the population and stripping it of its real estate, to establish small States ['model cities"] in a territory that will no longer be ours, populated by foreigners, that are like the ones that appear provoking the islanders in the video went viral on the networks, they will be, for the most part, louts."
October 5, 2020
A "model city?" According to Edmundo Orellano, the former foreign minister and former defense minister of Honduras: "We are handing over the territory and sovereignty, displacing the population and stripping it of its real estate, to establish small States ['model cities"] in a territory that will no longer be ours, populated by foreigners, that are like the ones that appear provoking the islanders in the video went viral on the networks, they will be, for the most part, louts." This article looks at local resistance on the island of Roatán to the model city (aka ZEDE, or Zona de Empleo y Desarrollo) called Próspera .
September 28, 2020
Monday, September 28 - 10am in Colombia, 11am (ET) in Washington D.C. Conversation CONVIDA20: "Colombia cries out for Life, Peace and Justice" Panelists: Diego Pérez and Omar Fernández Testimonies of Resistance Río Naya and Afavit Registrations at: bit.ly/pazcolombia20
September 17, 2020
We discussed how climate and weather impact their crops, the farmer’s likes and dislikes of farming, and what organizations readers can reach out to support farming in Central America (original Spanish included).
September 4, 2020
Governments all over the world can and must take action right now to reduce the amount of people forcibly displaced because of climate change. According to a United Nation’s Report, we, as a global community, still have a window of opportunity to establish policies and strategies to ameliorate both the issues leading to climate migration and the issues directly caused by climate migration.
September 2, 2020
We have already emitted enough greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as CO2, to change the very composition of our atmosphere. Scientists, researchers, policymakers, and governmental officials alike know this; they know that the effects of climate change are occurring now and will continue into the not-so-distant future. We now face the question: will we act now to limit the consequences of climate change by reducing emissions or continue with the status quo and suffer the consequences?
September 1, 2020
In this series of infographics we explore the ways in which the climate crisis is impacting Central Americans and Colombians, how they are adapting, and how this crisis has created a surge of climate migration.
August 25, 2020
To bring attention to several identified environmental, social, human, and economic impacts of large scale mining projects in the Atlantic zone, residents of El Guapinol (Colón Department) and surrounding communities organized the Encampment on the Defense of Water and Life in August 2018. They pointed to contamination of the Guapinol and San Pedro Rivers, which supply drinking water to fourteen surrounding communities, caused by an iron ore mine operated since 2014 by Los Inversiones Los Pinares (owners: Lenir Pérez and Ana Facussé). Of particular concern are impacts on the Montaña de Botaderos National Park, which supplies several rivers flowing to Olancho, Atlántida, and Colón Departments. Area residents have documented how the mine is destroying animal life and contaminating smaller waterways. Tens of thousands of inhabitants are at risk of losing their agricultural crops and homes. Because of their actions in defense of the environment, these men have been imprisoned in “preventive detention” awaiting formal charges since September 2019: Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, José Abelino Cedillo, Kelvin Alejandro Romero, Arnold Javier Alemán, Ever Alexander Cedillo, Orbin Nahúm Hernández, Daniel Márquez, and Jeremías Martínez. We demand their release!