On August 10, 2013 a delegation arrived in the capital Tegucigalpa from the USA and Canada to embark on a journey that documents the human rights crisis in Honduras. Dozens of people shared their stories of resistencia (resistance) for human, land and environmental rights against a repressive regime that currently reigns over the country following the 2009 military coup d'etat.
Below is the first set of a series of documentary footage from our journey:
Among the many people we visited, who are resisting repression and brutality by the current ruling Nationalist Party, included:
- Indigenous Lenca activists who are defending their native land in Rio Blanco from a hydro-electric dam project;
- Garifuna communities, descendants of escaped African slaves, living along the coasts of Triunfo de la Cruz and San Juan whose land is being usurped in order to build resort hotels;
- Campesinos in La Panama in the Aguan Valley who have been terrorized by and are seeking justice for the brutal murder of Gregorio Chavez from multi-million dollar land baron Miguel Facusse;
- A worker led community cooperative named MUCA (united campensino movement) who are fighting to keep from being evicted from their land;
- Political prisoner Isabel "Chavelo" Morales being held in La Ceiba prison;
- Displaced communities in Nueva Esperanza who are being repressed by iron oxide mining interests; and others in the struggle for human rights and justice.
The first stop after arriving in the capital was the small, rural community of Siria Valley which has been torn apart and lives destroyed due to the mining operations of a Canadian-based gold company named Goldcorp. "For [the] mining company to come and for their vision of wealth and money, we lost a community," says Roberto, who lost his daughter due to environmental contamination of the water and who has also suffered health impacts due to the mining operations.
"At first, we had the problem that was psychological which was caused because we were evicted from that area where we had lived. And then after, another impact was the issue where the company dug a well for human consumption of the water, which was later found to be contaminated with arsenic and caused a lot of problems in the community," says Roberto.
Currently, the Honduran people are struggling to etch out a democracy following the most recent elections on November 24, 2013. However, signs do not seem hopeful and the ruling National Party refuses to relinquish power by any means necessary. For the most current information on the election results visit Rights Action.