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Stand for the Land

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Defending water and land in Honduras

Around the world, people who defend the environment, water and land are often threatened, criminalized, imprisoned or even killed. Honduras is no exception and is one of the five most dangerous countries in the world in this respect.

The communities of Guapinol and the San Pedro sector in northern Honduras are well aware of this. Their lives have been turned upside down ever since an iron ore mine opened in Carlos Escaleras National Park.

If you missed our campaign launch webinar, which took place on September 16, 2023 with our guests from Honduras Elvin Hernández and Juana Zúniga, feel free to watch the recording HERE.

Act in solidarity

Over 52,000 people signed our letter to the Honduran ambassador to Canada, surpassing by 20,000 our initial goal of 32,000 signatures (1,000 for each of the 32 people charged at the Guapinol camp).

Your signatures added weight to the letter, which presses the Government of Honduras to:

Thank you for your solidarity!

History of the defense of the Guapinol and San Pedro rivers


October 2012

The Montaña de Botaderos National Park is created to protect biodiversity and ecosystems, including the sources of 34 rivers.


2015 to present

Communities mobilize against mining in the park.

Fuera minas icon


Mining begins, polluting waterways including the Guapinol river.


May 2018

Protesting the pollution, the community occupies a municipal building in Tocoa for 11 days.

August 2018

Protestors establish the Camp Guapinol for Water and Life.

Icon hand raised in fist

September 2018

18 defenders are charged with usurpation, damage and the illegal appropriation of public space.


October 2018

The police and army violently break up the peaceful Guapinol camp.


November 2018

Jeremias Martinez, one of the Guapinol Eight, is arrested.


January 2019

32 defenders are charged with the unjust deprivation of liberty, aggravated arson, theft and unlawful association.


August 2019

7 defenders voluntarily appear in court and are remanded pending trial.


November 2019

Tocoa declares “mining-free” and asks Inversiones los Pinares to leave.

February 2020

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention calls for the release of the Guapinol Eight.


October 2020

One of the defenders, Arnold Joaquín Morazán Erazo, is shot dead.


February 9, 2022

Six of the Guapinol Eight are convicted for aggravated damage, simple damage and unjust deprivation. The other two are released.


February 24, 2022

The remaining six of the Guapinol Eight are released.

January 7, 2023

Aly Domínguez and Jairo Bonilla are murdered.


June 15, 2023

Aly’s brother, Oquelí Domínguez Ramos, is murdered. Their mother is wounded in the attack on their home.


Summer 2023

The mining company suspends operations for two years. Resultant mass layoffs add to mounting tensions that force several Guapinol families to flee.

October 2023

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) grants protection measures to the defenders of the Guapinol and San Pedro communities.

March 22, 2024

Canada's ambassador to Honduras, Elizabeth Williams, visits the community of Guapinol with our partner ERIC-Radio Progreso.

April 24, 2024

52,629 signatures are presented to Beatriz Valle, Honduras' ambassador to Canada, by a delegation of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada members and staff.


A solidarity visitor from Honduras

From October 13 to 24, 2023, Elvin Hernández took part in events in Montreal, the Outaouais region, Ottawa and Toronto. Elvin works as a human rights investigator for ERIC-Radio Progreso (Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación | Reflection, Research and Communication Team), our partner in Honduras.

To learn more on the Guapinol struggle, read this article by Elvin Hernández: The Irrationality of Extractivism in Honduras: The Guapinol Case.

Elvin’s visit to Quebec is funded by the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie of Quebec.

Photo of Elvin Hernandez ERIC



Guapinol defenders video image - Fall 2024
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A message from the community

Juana Zúniga, Leonel George and Daniel Márquez are all involved in the effort to preserve the Guapinol and San Pedro rivers and Carlos Escaleras National Park.

Daniel is one of the Guapinol Eight, the defenders unjustly imprisoned for over two years. Juana and Leonel are members of the Committee for the Defense of Common and Public Goods in Tocoa, Colón.

Listen to their testimony filmed the day after the death of their compatriot Oquelí Domínguez, murdered in his home on June 15, 2023.


Development and Peace – Caritas Canada supports the work of ERIC-Radio Progreso through the Voices without borders in defense of life and territory project, with financial support from the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie of Quebec.

Garbage cleanup – Connecting local action with global solidarity

As you support the environmental and human rights defenders fighting to preserve their land, water, culture and lives, we invite you to organize a garbage cleanup event in your community.

Take the opportunity to present the campaign and collect signatures!

Corvée de nettoyage | Garbage cleanup in Montreal
Medley of Fall campaign'23 resources


We have several resources to help you spread the word about the Stand for the Land campaign. These include a poster, an Action sheet, a letter for the ambassador, a backgrounder, a short talk, parish bulletin announcements, promotional banners, and more!

SEARCH for :


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