TOCOA FREE OF MINING! FREE OF PETCOKE THERMOELECTRIC POWER PROJECT!
By Popular Assembly, the People of Tocoa ratify "NO" to Los Pinares/Ecotek/Emco's megaproject in open town hall.
Important Update on the Open Town Hall in Tocoa
~ for immediate release
December 9, 2023
Since the night before the open town hall, Los Pinares/Ecotek security was seen entering the Turcios Institute facilities. More mine security was seen entering the facilities the morning of the vote; they were identified as the same company security that monitored the Libertad y Justicia camp in Tocoa during the trial of the eight Guapinol River defenders in 2022. They were subsequently expelled from the area by the police, who were present with a large contingent from the morning hours.
Upon seeing the large number of people arriving to vote "NO" to the petcoke thermoelectric plant, the municipal employee Rudy Reyes, gave orders to the police not to let in those who came to vote. This week, the municipal government handed out bonuses, but only to supporters of the mayor and the mining company.
The "YES" vote led citizens identified with blue armbands to vote, among them an elderly woman who publicly denounced upon arriving at the Institute that she had been told that for voting "Yes" she would get free electricity. She confirmed that she had not been informed of any of the negative consequences of the energy project.
Mayor Adán Funes refused to enter the building to carry out the Open Town Hall for more than two hours. He then left the area without public explanation and did not designate anyone to oversee the civic act. Someone went on stage and announced, "the mayor decided that the open town hall is postponed."
In response, the people self-convened a popular assembly, asking if the people present were in favor of the petroleum coke thermoelectric project and Emco's mega-project. The overwhelming majority voted NO. Four municipal councillors have endorsed the people's decision, recorded in minutes and signed before a notary. Two more have verbally expressed their support for the civic exercise and the people's decision.
We warn that Mayor Adan Funes is reported to be meeting with Mine officials and we hold them both responsible for the online and in-person aggressions that may result following the town hall.
We urge, once again, the State of Honduras to take responsibility for its obligation to provide protection and guarantees of physical integrity to the defenders of the Municipal Committee and their families and to all the people who today, despite widespread campaigns to sow fear and terror, have mobilized to resoundingly reject Emco's deathly megaproject.
Today's vote by the Popular Assembly against the thermoelectric plant follows the 2019 open meeting that also flatly rejected mining in Tocoa. We demand that the authorities at the national and local level respect the people's decision to reject the petroleum coke thermoelectric plant, as well as mining in Carlos Escaleras National Park, and immediately cancel the seven concessions that make up Emco's megaproject.
The people of Tocoa say NO! to the thermoelectric plant, NO! to mining, NO! to the megaproject.
YES to life!
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Facebook: Comité Municipal en Defensa de los Bienes Comunes y Públicos (Municipal Committee in Defense of Common and Public Goods).