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Stand for the land: a new campaign in solidarity with the Honduran communities of Guapinol and the San Pedro sector

Press release
For immediate release

MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 5, 2023Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada is proud to announce the launch of Stand of the Land, our Fall 2023 awareness and advocacy campaign. Responding to a call by our Honduran partner ERIC-Radio Progreso, the campaign supports communities in Guapinol and the San Pedro sector who are protesting an open-pit iron mine that was irregularly set up in Carlos Escaleras National Park.  

Since 2015, the communities have been mobilizing peacefully to protect their sole source of drinking water from the mine’s pollution. Over the past five years, 32 community members have been charged. Eight were unjustly detained for 914 days. And since January 2023, three rights defenders have been killed and many more have been threatened.

Join us for a national campaign launch webinar at 1:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, September 16. Panellists will include Elvin Hernández, human rights investigator for ERIC-Radio Progreso, and Juana Zúniga, Gupainol defender and member of the Tocoa committee for the defence of public and common goods. Live translation in English, French and Spanish will be provided.

To act in solidarity, Canadians are invited to sign a letter to the Honduran ambassador to Canada, asking her government to:

  • Bring to book everyone involved in murdering the three Guapinol defenders.
  • Fairly recompense the Guapinol Eight and their families.
  • Better protect all Honduran human rights and environment defenders.
  • Stop all mining in Carlos Escaleras National Park and restore it.
  • Cancel all irregularly granted mining permits.

The goal is to collect 32,000 signatures (1,000 for each of the 32 people charged at the Guapinol camp) by February 25, 2024, the second anniversary of the release of the Guapinol Eight. People are invited to sign and share the letter; discover the campaign resources; and attended one of the many campaign training sessions across Canada that will shortly be listed on the Events section of our website.

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About Development and Peace – Caritas Canada

Development and Peace — Caritas Canada is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada. It works in partnership with local organizations in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Middle East to create greater justice in the world and to act in solidarity with the most vulnerable people.

For more information, contact: Minaz Kerawala
Communications and Public Relations Advisor
Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada
514 257-8710 ext. 328 | mkerawala@devp.org

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