28ème session au Conseil des Droits de l’Homme de l’ONU
3 mars 2015
Honduran lawyer at the Human Rights Council
to defend the right to water facing extractive industries
France Libertés –Danielle Mitterrand Foundation and Peace Brigades International (PBI) invite you to a side-event on Tuesday, 10th March 2015, from 12 am to 1.30 pm Room XI, Palais des Nations – Geneva
Geneva, March, 5th, 2015 – Donald Hernandez, human rights lawyer from Honduras and member of CEHPRODEC, an organization promoting community development initiatives, will attend the Human Rights Council session to highlight violations of the fundamental right to water of Honduran local communities caused by extractive industries.
While many governments make the choice to intensify extractive activities on their territories, the growing popular contestations must be taken into consideration. In the valley of Siria, Entremares – a firm affiliated to the Canadian multinational company Gold Corp – started mining operations in 2000. In 2004, the first serious health issues due to contaminated water were detected. An investigation led in 2005 recommended closing the wells used by the population. Ten years later, the government and the firm are still today denying compensation to victims, despite clear results from toxicological analysis.
Such economic and political choices placing priority in economic growth over fundamental human rights need to be questioned. This side event aims to reaffirm in front of United Nations organs States’ obligation to ensure and protect the right to water.
Marcos Orellana, Director of the Human Rights and Environment program of research center CIEL, will extend the analysis to other countries of Central America facing similar issues. He will talk of a case in El Salvador involving the company,Pacific Rim and of the Cerro Blanco and Marlin mining projects in Guatemala.