Honduras: FMO & FinnFund confirm exit from Agua Zarca project to “reduce international & local tensions”
FMO (Netherlands Development Finance Institution) and Finnfund (Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation) announced their exit of the hydroelectric project Agua Zarca from the company DESA. The exit takes place after investigations, protests and the killing of environmental activist Berta Cáceres and others.
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Author: Associated Press, NBCNews (USA)
…Two European development banks financing construction of a controversial dam project in Honduras have pulled out following the murders of local activists including Berta Caceres, a 2015 winner of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize…Caceres, a 40-year-old activist who was awarded the Goldman prize for leading a years-long fight against the dam, was killed in March 2016 by gunmen who invaded her home. The dam was to be built on the Gualcarque River, considered sacred by Caceres' Lenca people…Two weeks later another activist from her indigenous organization known as Copinh, Nelson Garcia, was killed. And last July the body of another Copinh activist, Lesbia Janeth Urquia, was found...
COPINH communicates that FMO and Finn Fund have confirmed their official exit from the murderous Agua Zarca Project
Author: Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH) (Honduras)
…The banks' exit responds to the denouncements and indefatigable struggle the communities organized in COPINH have carried out against the financing by banks of projects that openly violate the rights of Lenca communities and have been imposed and developed through the murder of leaders like Berta Caceres and Tomas Garcia…The exit of the banks is a victory for communities organized in defense of the sacred Gualcarque River and the rights of the Lenca people…However, we denounce that the FMO and Finn Fund have ignored COPINH's recommendations about a responsible exit. To the contrary, the banks continue promoting a decision-making process about a hydroelectric dam project that could generate more violence and repression...We continue demanding that the banks recognize their responsibility and that they apologize to the affected communities and COPINH…
Author: FMO & Finnfund
…Two of the lenders of the Agua Zarca hydropower project in Honduras, FMO (Netherlands Development Finance Institution), Finnfund (Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation), together with owner and developer DESA, mutually agreed to end their existing contractual relations. This joint conclusion was reached after extensive consultations with a large number of local and international stakeholders and through the work of an independent fact finding mission and an independent consultant…The lenders’ exit from the project is intended to reduce international and local tensions in the area. The lenders wish that all external stakeholders allow for local communities to initiate a dialogue among themselves to decide on the future of the area, the development options they have at hand, and if a hydroelectric project should be one of them or not…