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Grassroots uprising in the face of the climate crisis: #COP26 and the Guapinol case

On route to the trial of the eight Guapinol and Sector San Pedro water defenders: In-depth interviews - Disappointments of COP26 and the importance of the Guapinol Defenders case in Honduras.

Twenty days before the Oral and Public Trial of the Guapinol and San Pedro River Defenders, the first cycle of interviews "On the Road to the Trial: In-depth Interviews" was held, a space for analysis and reflection on environmental protection and the serious consequences of the extractivist model in the communities.

During the interview, Francisca Stuardo, part of the Global Witness Defenders and Environment Team, and Martha Silva, environmental activist from Honduras who is part of Friends of the Earth structures and has experience in environmental movements, addressed, from a critical approach, the importance of the case of environmental defenders unjustly and arbitrarily deprived of their freedom, in the context of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP26).

They reiterated that the climate crisis has been confirmed and the urgency to act is undeniable.

They emphasized countries that have the greatest impact on the environment must make real commitments with implementation and accountability mechanisms. Due to the context of inequality, countries like ours - in Latin America- suffer the consequences of negative environmental impacts, breaking the social fabric and destroying our ecosystems.

However, in spaces of discussion and decision-making, such as the CO26, there is greater representation of companies than of Indigenous Peoples and communities, who are the ones who remain on the front line in defense of the Earth and the environment.

And in the case of Honduras, environmental defenders suffer systematic persecution by the State, Francisca Stuardo of Global Whitness points out that:

Honduras "is one of the countries that has registered the most attacks against defenders and environmental defenders".

The actions of the State of Honduras are questionable both in international discussion spaces and in the management and implementation of public policies within the country. Martha Silva mentioned that Honduras went to CO26 to request Green Funds -financing to combat climate change-, supposedly to address the catastrophe caused by the passing of two hurricanes (Eta and Iota) over the country. The unwillingness and poor management of the crisis by the Honduran government have been evident.

In addition, they pointed out, that the State of Honduras consistently fails to comply with UN recommendations, such as the immediate release of the Guapinol defenders, which would respond to the resolution of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

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