TEGUCIGALPA.- Villagers, along with environmentalists, protested yesterday in front of the offices of the AG (Attorney General), demanding that the Environmental Prosecutor’s office act upon all the cases that have been filed by people from the Siria Valley who have been harmed by the mining operation [of Goldcorp Inc] in the Siria Valley .
Children, men and women – from the Siria Valley – have been found to be contaminated by arsénic, lead and mercury. Roger Abraham Escober, president of the Environmental Committee of the Siria Valley , said: “We have to demand justice for what the company Entremares [subsidiary of Goldcorp Inc] did, over 10 years, contaminating the waters of the region.
“Actually, beyond villagers, we have ex-employees of the company [Entremares/ Goldcorp Inc] who are suffering hair loss, eye-sight complications, weakened and cracked bones, amongst other health harms, who have received neither proper health attention or justice,” Escober added.
“The Attorney General, Health Ministry, and SERNA (Secretary of Natural Resources and the Environment) know about the above normal levels of heavy metals that Siria Valley villagers have in their bodies, and none of them have had the dignity to respond to the needs of the Siria Valley population; rather, legal charges have been filed against villagers in the El Terrero region.”
Escober explained that a minor recently died in the Siria Valley because the minor did not receive the medical attention needed, due to the dangerous levels of heavy metals as documented by analysis done in Colombia – but no Honduran authority has even referred to the death of the minor.
“More than 27 villagers have higher than normal levels in their bodies, […] particularly children who drank contaminated water – and they have not received medical attention, neither when the mine was in operation nor since they closed the mine”.