Minning dries the Guapinol river in Honduras

(Euskera) (Castellano)

When the water crisis is alarming in many nearby places, we understand the importance of the elementary liquid for our lives and the risks we face with the climate emergency. Therefore, now more than ever, any risk of diminishing it must be avoided, and the supply of communities and ecosystems on which we also depend guaranteed. The drought is being exacerbated in those places where water-intensive projects have been imposed. In Honduras, the predicted disaster of the Inversiones Los Pinares/Ecotek mining company also looms over the Guapinol river, its communities and ecosystems. For years, local communities have opposed this iron oxide mining project in defence of their river, suffering persecution, imprisonment and even forced into exile or killed. Today, the predictions have come true, and the contamination of the river has been followed by the complete drying up of their beloved Guapinol river along the Bajo Aguán valley. Because open-pit mining, in addition to pollution, involves an enormous use of water, in this case to separate the iron oxide from the rock by washing the water with chemicals.

As the repressed and exiled activist Dalila Argueta reflected: «We all know that this is part of the environmental impact, that behind this is the responsibility of the investment company, Inversiones Los Pinares, 34 sources of water that come from these mountains are in danger, what does a community do without a water source? Displacement is what would happen to the inhabitants in search of water. If our mountains are not defended the river will disappear and there are many people without conditions for relocation, everything they have is in that community. Don’t justify the consequences of Pinares by saying that there is always a shortage of water. Think that if there was little water flowing before, with 20 years of non-stop exploitation, the mountain and all the rivers will disappear, plus the contamination of the soil and subsoil, leaving infertile land».

The following is the communiqué issued by the Committee for the Defence of Common and Public Goods of Tocoa:


What was foreseen as a disgrace to happen has already happened. Today, 23 April, there is evidence of how the waters of the Guapinol River and its living creatures are diminishing and dying. Images collected by the people of the community show that the flow of the Guapinol River is drastically reduced at the height of the illegal installation of the Iron Pelletizer Plant of Inversiones Ecotek/Pinares but the most alarming thing is that 370 meters downstream of the plant the river is completely dry in a stretch of 1,345 meters (1.345 km) putting in precarious the use and consumption of human, domestic animals, wildlife and survival of all aquatic life.

Imprisoned, persecuted, assassinated, threatened for fighting for the life of the water, the organised fighters against the project of the mining company that is plundering the Carlos Escaleras mountain, the aquifers that feed rivers, streams and the species that have lived in the area for ever, are today more indignant than ever because the ecological devastation is ever closer and more lethal.

The State of Honduras, which already has all the documented information provided by the Committee for the Defence of Common and Public Goods of Tocoa about the negative impact of this project, is delaying its intervention in favour of the communities and nature, favouring the criminal interests of the mining company and encouraging environmental destruction.

Committee for the Defence of Common and Public Goods

1,348 metres of the Guapinol River dry up.
Aquatic species die
Responsible mining, a miserable tale.

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