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Agua Zarca Hydroelectric Project. Independent Fact Finding Mission: Report and Recommendations

Author: Julian Burger, Margarita Escartin, Nataly Ponce & Leo Valladares Lanza, Published on: 7 September 2016

The present report is the result of a Mission to evaluate the social, environmental and human rights impacts on local communities of the Agua Zarca Project in Honduras. The Mission was undertaken at the request of FMO, one of the funders of the development…The report notes the high level of violence associated with the Project since its inception in 2011. The Project gained international attention when Berta Caceres, the Director of COPINH, the principal opponent of the Project and well-known environmental campaigner, was assassinated in March 2016…During meetings with Project opponents and COPINH, it became apparent to the Mission that if the Project was not completely abandoned, this would result in the continuation of the opposition campaign…This could also result in a re-escalation of violence. All communities expressed a desire for all violent conflict directed at them to cease. However, where acts of violence are not investigated, and the perception of an environment of sustained impunity, it may be that the conflictual environment experienced in the past is escalated in the short term. The Mission notes that, while the majority of communities in the Project area appear to favour continuation of the development, those who oppose do need to have their concerns addressed in good faith and measures taken to respond to grievances and rebuild trust…

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Related companies: Desarrollos Energéticos (DESA) FMO