On January 7th, 2016, Nilce Magalhães de Souza disappeared from her home, never to be seen again. Nicinha, as she was known locally, was a leader in the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) in Brazil, which is a Development and Peace partner. She was actively protesting against the Jirau Hydroelectric Plant in the northern province of Rondônia in the Amazon.
Development and Peace adds its voice to those of its Honduran partners in the unequivocal condemnation of the abhorrent assassination of Berta Cáceres, president of Coordinating Group of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), in the early hours of March 2nd, 2016.
Two months after the COP 21 climate talks in Paris, where countries agreed to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in the German city of Bonn, the G8 nations are pressed to increase their contributions to the Green Climate Fund in order to finance mitigation and adaptation projects in the particularly vulnerable nations of the Global South.
Mary Durran, chargée de programmes pour l'Amérique latine
La petite ville de San Francisco est nichée entre les montagnes bleues couronnées de nuages, les forêts tropicales verdoyantes du parc national Pico Bonito et les plaines fertiles, productrices de fruits, de la côte atlantique nord du Honduras. Une ancienne bananeraie qui longe le parc a cédé la place à des ananas destinés à l’exportation. Dans cette localité, personne ne souffre de la faim — même les chiens et les chats errants semblent bien nourris —, mais les soins de santé sont précaires et les emplois sont rares.
The small town of San Francisco is nestled between the blue cloud-wrapped mountains and verdant tropical forests of the Pico Bonito National Park, and the sultry fruit-producing plains of the northern Atlantic coast of Honduras. A former banana plantation that borders the park has been replaced by pineapples for export. It is a community where no one goes hungry – even the stray dogs and cats look well-fed – but healthcare is precarious and jobs are few. Many youth have migrated to the US in search of opportunities.
The governments of Honduras and Peru award concessions to mining companies. Villages are displaced, fields and streams are contaminated and the communities have no say. Even so, they are demanding one thing: that their right to free, prior and informed consent be respected.
The people of the Siria Valley in Honduras may have breathed a sigh of relief in 2010 with the closure of the Canadian-owned San Martin gold mine that sits in their midst, but now they must brace themselves for further environmental destruction and depletion of their water supply. In mid-January, after two years of negotiations and opposition from civil society, a new mining law was finally approved by the Honduran Congress.
In Honduras’ mountainous southern department of La Paz, mornings are chilly and the altitude is ideal for coffee growing. Here, the dark-skinned indigenous Lenca people make up 80% of the population. Yet, from the poverty and the discrimination they endure, one might think they were a minority.
In this community, four out of ten children die before they reach the age of two from a poverty-related disease. Most of the girls become pregnant while still minors, and in the community of Santa Elena alone, eleven women died last year in childbirth.