Honduras: Agua Zarca dam construction leads to violence & intimidation against Lenca indigenous communities, NGO says

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Company non-response
27 November 2013

Desarrollos Energéticos (DESA) did not respond to: Further to our 13 Nov Update: Sinohydro response to report about alleged violence & intimidation against indigenous communities related to construction of Agua Zarca dam in Honduras.

Company response
25 November 2013

Sinohydro Group response to report by Rights Action about alleged violence & intimidation against Lenca indigenous communities related to the constructions of Agua Zarca dam, Honduras

Author: Sinohydro Group Limited

The Contract Agreement of Agua Zarca Dam Project with DESA was terminated on August 24th 2013…Sinohydro…signed the Contract Agreement on November 16th 2012, with DESA as the Employer for the construction…Right from the very beginning of our mobilization, it was noticed that there were serious interest conflicts between…DESA, and the local communities…unpredictable and uncontrollable to the Contractor. Therefore, Sinohydro…instructed to suspend all the site performance and ongoing preparations, and demobilized all his manpower from the project site on July 15th 2013. On August 24th, 2013, the Contract Agreement between Sinohydro…and DESA was…officially…terminated…DESA was obliged to acquire all necessary development permits, projects licenses with its due legal and social process…Sinohydro…did not involve the controversial activities by DESA such as land acquisition and invading behaviors…Sinohydro…declares that we had no…involvement and relationship with these controversial actions criticized in the Rights Action’s Report.

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Author: 中国水利水电建设集团股份有限公司

我公司与DESA公司的Agua Zarca Dam项目合同已经正式终止…我公司…于2012年11月16日与DESA公司签订施工合同…随后我公司意识到当地社区与业主之间存在诸多矛盾一直未能妥善解决,对承包商合同的履行带来不可控的风险。之后我公司暂停现场所有的准备工作,并于2013年7月15日将全部人员撤离现场,2013年8月24日与DESA公司正式书面终止合同并退出该项目…我公司在该项目中仅承担工程施工义务,项目开发的有关各项许可均为DESA公司责任…DESA公司非法获得土地使用权、对当地环境及设施造成破坏的行为均发生在我公司动员进入…该项目之前,我公司不存在任何关联行为…对于Rights Action组织所发布关于DESA公司的相关行为及其做法,与我公司不存在任何关联关系。

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Company non-response
13 November 2013

Orion Security (Honduras) did not respond to: Agua Zarca dam construction leads to violence & intimidation against Lenca indigenous communities, NGO says.

3 October 2013

[PDF] The Agua Zarca Dam and Lenca Communities in Honduras

Author: Annie Bird, Rights Action

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Minerales Victoria (part of DESA), Sinohydro, Orion Security to respond. Orion Security, did not respond. DESA, Sinohydro indicated that they will respond - we will indicate the week of 18 Nov whether they do so.] Lenca indigenous communities of the Rio Blanco region of Intibuca, Honduras have blocked an access road built into the intended construction site for the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River. Desarrollos Energeticos (DESA) plans to build the dam, and is pushing the project through with violence and intimidation, while attempting to criminalize land rights defenders with baseless charges...The prosecution and imprisonment of human rights defenders and lawyers on charges of “incitement”...could...leave a population already suffering from chronic violation of their right to access to justice even more vulnerable...

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