Gathered in Tegucigalpa, the capital of the Republic of Honduras, to analyze the proposed general law on mining and hydrocarbons that has been elaborated by a commission of the National Congress, the below-signed civil society organizations make the following statement:
1. We express our disagreement with the way in which more than 50% of the 104 articles of this proposed law have been elaborated, which, in addition to incorporating dispositions that are harmful to the Honduras people and the goods of the state, contradicts and ignores the minimum agreements that had been agreed upon with environmental organizations, affected communities, authorities of the state and representatives of mining companies.
2. The proposed law is not ready to be debated by the National Congress, unless the desire of the Commission is to punish the communities, result in the loss of their historically acquired rights, especially the rights to food, water, health and life.
3. In the name of the affected communities and sought out by the mining companies, we demand that the National Congress cease the process of approving this law and immediately initiate a citizen consultation process, particularly with affected populations.
4. Our alliance has integrated legal and technical commissions that are available to immediately enter into debate with the Mining Commission of the National Congress in order to demonstrate the incoherencies in the proposed law and the dangers that it implies for Honduran communities, and in a similar way we would like to propose changes that would be appropriate to the needs and interests of these populations.
5. We have observed with much concern the strategic efforts of people associated with the mining companies within institutions of the state, which appears to us to be with the explicit intention to facilitate the handing over of national territory to these companies to the detriment of the population.
6. We declare that we are on ongoing alert and demand from the institutions of the state, including SERNA, DEFOMIN, the General Attorney’s Office, etc, to halt the handing over of national territory and from the National Congress we demand the immediate initiation of a consultation process to regulate, starting with the Honduran citizenry, a new mining law.
HONDURAN TERRITORY IS NOT FOR SALE, IT’S TO BE DEFENDED.
Tegucigalpa, February 20, 2012.
Honduran Centre for the Promotion of Community Development (CEHPRODEC)
Madre Tierra Association
Civic Alliance for Democracy (ACD)
Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (ASONOG)
Institute for Environmental Law (IDAMHO)
Regional Environmental Committee of the Siria Valley
Popol Nah Tun Foundation
Environmental Movement of Santa Barbara (M.A.S.)
National Network of Communities Affected and Potentially Affected by Open Pit Mining
National Roundtable on Risk Management
National Association for the Promotion of Ecological Agriculture (ANAFAE)