Despite a court order to stop expansion of its open-pit gold mining operations in La Unión, Miami-based Aura Minerals continues the destruction of an Indigenous Maya Chortí community in Copán Department in western Honduras. At the heart of the matter for local residents is the contamination of vital water sources and the destruction of their 200-year-old Azacualpa community cemetery As we described in previous letters (cf December 2, 2021; January 25, 2022, April 11, 2022) army and police were deployed to ensure the exhumations of graves, to facilitate expansion of the San Andrés gold mine, which is owned by US- and Canada-based Aura Minerals and operated by its Honduran subsidiary MINOSA (Minerales de Occidente SA). On March 30, 2022, the government of Honduras ordered MINOSA to stop its operations, but the destruction has continued.
Those who try to protect their water sources and cemetery are regularly threatened. Fredy García, a resident of Azacualpa, filed a complaint with the Public Ministry against Jacobo Paz, a manager of the San Andrés gold mining project, and Dimar Miranda Pérez, a contractor for the mining company, because of the contamination of a vital water source. In retaliation, people have been coming to the home of Fredy García and threatening him.