URGENT ACTION: New Proposed Mining Law in Honduras (English & Spanish)

Please see the Urgent Action request below (and attached sample letters below) from Pedro Landa of CEHPRODEC, who along with other groups (including the Environmental Committee of the Siria Valley, who has been fighting against the activities of Goldcorp for years and who's leaders have visited Canada a number of times regarding this issue), are closely monitoring and strongly oppose the new proposed Mining Law. Pedro Landa also testified in front of a Parliamentary Committee in Ottawa last March urging the Canadian government to not go ahead with the Honduras-Canada Free Trade Agreement because of the human rights situation in Honduras, particularly as related to practices of mining and other natural resources exploitation.

We are also requesting that Canadians and Canadian organizations sending these letters copy representatives of the Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica, who are responsible for Honduras:

Ambassdor Cameron MacKay: Cameron.MacKay@international.gc.ca
Political Officer Léonard Beaulne: Leonard.Beaulne@international.gc.ca
Office of the Canadian Embassy in Honduras: tglpa@international.gc.ca

The law could be approved at any time - it could be days or weeks, so it is important to begin sending letters as soon as possible. There have been experiences in Honduras in the last year or two of new controversial laws being approved in the middle of the night, in secret votes, without warning.

Thank you for your support!


-----

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dear colleagues,

As many of you know, the Honduran National Congress is preparing to approve a new mining law in the next few weeks in order to reopen the processes for granting concessions and beginning operations for over 300 mining projects. Despite the efforts on Honduran organizations, the Congress' Mining Commission has closed their doors to citizen participation.

In a meeting with the President of this Commission, he stated they "have great pressure from investors" and that they have incorporated the majorit of the proposals of social organizations into the new law. However, in reviewing the new proposed law, we have found that many of our proposals - the most important ones (such as the requirement for binding consultations, the banning of open pit mining and the use of toxic substances such as cyanide and mercury, and the possibility to expand areas currently off-limits to mining, and the characterization of environmental crimes) - have been left out, and there appears to be no disposition on the part of Congress to create a process to come to an agreement with social organizations.

We are here organizing ourselves and struggling against this process, and it would be of great help to have support from sister organizations such as yours in sending letters to the President of the National Congress (see attached sample letter), with a copy to the caucus leaders of the various political parties in Congress, and a copy to us as well.

The email addresses of the President of the National Congress, Juan Orlando Hernandez, are juanorlandohernandez@yahoo.com y presidencia@congreso.gob.hn

With a copy to caucus leaders at:


Toribio Aguilera: Caucus Leader for the Innovation Party and the Social Democratic Unity Party PINU-SD: joseaguilera@multivision.net
Marvin Ponce: Caucus leader for the Democratic Union Party (UD): poncemarvin@yahoo.es
José Alfredo Saavedra: Caucus leader for the Liberal Party: joseasaavedra@congreso.gob.hn
Celin Discua Elvir: Caucus leader for the National Party: jdiscua@congreso.gob.hn
Augusto Cruz Ascencio: Caucus leader for the Christian Democrat Party: augustocruz@congreso.gob.hn

We thank you in advance for your support.

Pedro Landa

Coordinator, Human Rights and Environment Program
CEHPRODEC

-----

Estimadas compañeras y estimados compañeros:
 
Como muchos de ustedes sabrán, el Congreso Nacional de Honduras se esta preparando para aprobar una nueva ley de minería en las próximas semanas para abrir nuevamente los procesos de concesionamiento y operación de mas de 300 proyectos mineros. A pesar de los esfuerzos realizados por las organizaciones hondureñas, la Comisión de Minería del Congreso ha cerrado las puertas a la participación ciudadana.
 
En una reunión sostenida con  el presidente de la Comisión del Congreso, argumento que "tienen grandes presiones de los inversionistas" y que en la nueva ley se han incorporado la mayoría de las propuestas de las organizaciones sociales. Sin embargo al revisar el proyecto de ley encontramos que muchas de nuestras propuestas, las mas importantes (como la obligatoriedad de las consultas y el carácter vinculante, la prohibición de la minería a cielos abiertos, el uso de sustancias toxicas como cianuro y mercurio, la posibilidad de ampliar las zonas de exclusión para la minería y la tipificación de delitos ambientales) han sido dejadas por fuera y no existe la disposición del Congreso para generar un proceso de concertación con las organizaciones sociales.
 
Aquí estamos organizándonos para dar la pelea y seria de gran ayuda contar con el respaldo de organizaciones hermanas como ustedes, a través del envió de cartas al presidente del Congreso Nacional (ver modelo de carta adjunta), con copia los jefes de bancada de los partidos pliticos en el Congreso y una copia para nosotros.
 
La dirección electrónica del presidente del Congreso es juanorlandohernandez@yahoo.com y presidencia@congreso.gob.hn
 
Con copia a los jefes de Bancada:


Toribio Aguilera: Jefe de Bancada del Partido Innovación y Unidad Social Demócrata PINU-SD   correo electrónico: joseaguilera@multivision.net
Marvin Ponce: Jefe de Bancada del partido Unificación Democrática: poncemarvin@yahoo.es
José Alfredo Saavedra: Jefe de Bancada del Partido Liberal: joseasaavedra@congreso.gob.hn
Celin Discua Elvir: Jefe de bancada del partido nacional: jdiscua@congreso.gob.hn
Augusto Cruz Ascencio: Jefe de Bancada del Partido Demócrata Cristiano: augustocruz@congreso.gob.hn

Agradeciendo de antemano su apoyo,

Pedro Landa
Coordinador del programa de Derechos Humanos y Medioambiente
CEHPRODEC

AttachmentSize
Sample letter to Juan Orlando from solidarity organizations.doc16 KB
Carta modelo a Juan Orlando de organizaciones hermanas.doc16.5 KB
Visit our blog -Visite nuestro blog

Honduras Accompaniment Project blog in English, including articles, news and urgent actions.

Blog en español del Proyecto de Acompañamiento internacional en Honduras (PROAH), incluyendo artículos, noticias, y acciones urgentes.

 

Video

Video of the "Comision de Verdad" (Commission of Truth) in Honduras.

Commission of Truth Honduras reports

Final report of the "Comision de Verdad" (Commission of Truth), Honduras:

Search
News Feed
Syndicate content