Jesus Defender of Water
Jesús Salazar, Suyapa, Pespire
"I am the coordinator of COCOPDDHHEP. It’s our orgnisation for the defence of human rights and our shared resources, the water and woods here. We began organising to defend ourselves four years ago.
We need to defend the water. It’s scarce here in the south, and it’s our life. We depend on it to live.
In 2003 we began to hear these promises, that the road was going to be improved and the church would be built, if we let the mining company in. The municipal authorities, our representatives in the National Congress, they all supported it. They promoted it. But, that’s not development for us. That’s the sale of our territory to transnational companies. It’s against our will and against our interests. They can always find an ally in the communities - people who will help them. They give them some money and brainwash them, but these people bring long-term difficulties for our communities, which will affect our children and grandchildren. It will poison them and rob them of water. We need to be very clear about this - they are bringing death.
They came here with an environmental licence, which they got fraudulently, with the support of members of Congress and the mayor. But because we were already organised, there was a defence. We have 19 groups organised in the villages around here, and we have lawyers. We won’t let them in. They’ve tried. There have been confrontations and injuries. Twice those rats have come here with their machines. They even came at Christmas because they thought it’d be easier.
They came one evening when we were planting corn. There weren’t many men here. Everyone was in the fields planting. Women with babies stood in front of the excavators to stop them coming in. Then, with mobile phones, we mobilised more than 300 people to come quickly with machetes and sticks, and we stood in front of the machines and we all raised our machetes in the air. The men they sent were
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- Honduras: The Real Face of Jesus