In the mountain range of El Merendón, in northern Honduras, coffee is grown in almost three thousand blocks of land, 80 percent of which is found in a nature reserve that provides water and oxygen to the second largest city in the country, San Pedro Sula. Coffee producers are our last hope to preserve and restore this mountain, but due to the lack of State support and inequality in favor of exporters and transnationals, they have to make a crucial decision: implement agroforestry systems to preserve the forest or transition to more profitable but unsustainable farming practices.
Perfil de Fernando Silva
Honduras’ Guapinol mining project, condemned by the government but defended by top government officials
President Xiomara Castro has officially denounced the Guapinol mine and Palmerola airport projects. They are going ahead regardless, with no interruption to the power and influence of businessman Lenir Pérez, who owns the concessions for both projects. Pérez has already been accused of benefiting from his relations with former president Juan Orlando Hernández to obtain irregular contracts and abuse human rights. Now, Contracorriente has found that Pérez could maintain privileged access to the new government through lawyer Pamela Blanco Luque, partner, and wife of Tomás Vaquero, Secretary of Government, Justice, and Decentralization.
David Castillo, the former general manager of energy company DESA, was sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison for being one of the intellectual authors of the murder of indigenous leader and environmentalist Berta Cáceres. Her relatives and colleagues are now demanding that the Atala clan face justice.
Legislators from the faction supporting Luis Redondo as president of the National Congress met on February 2 to vote on several laws that fulfill some of President Xiomara Castro’s campaign promises. A law proposed by Representative Rasel Tomé condemning the coup that deposed Manuel Zelaya 12 years earlier was approved, and includes amnesty provisions for those that defend national sovereignty, land and water sources. It also protects public officials from prosecution for corruption-related crimes committed from 2006 to 2009.
Xiomara Castro’s victory on November 28 swept many entrenched politicians out of office and toppled the two parties that have held onto power for decades through shady political deal making. Business leaders who have benefitted from the policies of previous governments now face an uncertain future, as the incoming administration has promised to repeal or revise some of these policies. However, other political and business sectors that opposed the current administration are now hoping for real change.
Parts of the protected forest reserve of La Tigra National Park in central Honduras have been cleared to grow produce for Tegucigalpa’s dinner tables. Cabbage has become the economic mainstay of a community that settled in the wrong place.
Civil society organizations from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador recently launched the Center Against Corruption and Impunity in Northern Central America (CCINOC) in order to focus on one of the region’s biggest problems – corruption.
The Hermes case filed by UFERCO, the Ministry of Justice’s anti-corruption unit, is the last piece of a puzzle that now provides a complete picture of how Juan Orlando Hernández rose to power through political patronage and media control. The indictment charges Hilda Hernández, the deceased minister and sister of the president, with leading a corruption ring that embezzled more than 122 million lempiras (US$5 million) in public funds.
The Honduran government has promised that the construction of 14 dams will prevent the severe flooding that the country experienced during tropical storms Eta and
According to official data, Tropical Storms Eta and Iota caused the death of 96 people. One devastated family speaks out about the government’s unreliable death tally, demonstrating that the true number of deaths is unknown.
Six months after Contracorriente submitted a formal information request to the Institute for Public Information Access (Instituto de Acceso a la Información Pública – IAIP), the Ministry of Public Health released information confirming that President Juan Orlando Hernandez tested negative for COVID-19 the day before he made a public appearance where he stated that he and his wife had tested positive for the virus.
The Ministry of Health failed to release a copy of the test results in which Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández allegedly tested positive for COVID-19 after Contracorriente requested it, based on a Institute of Access to Public Information (IAIP) requirement. Now, the commissioner’s board of the IAIP has issued a legal resolution for the handing over of the information. If not complied with, the case will be brought before the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR).
One of the pandemic relief measures taken by the government of Honduras was to secure up to US$2.5 billion in debt to be used for guaranteed loans channeled through a government bank to small and medium-size enterprises. Despite the government’s promises of relief for small businesses, our investigation found that this money has mostly benefited private banks, business conglomerates, and medium-size companies. There has been almost no official relief for microenterprises.
Last Monday, the government’s special anti-corruption unit (Unidad Fiscal Especializada Contra Redes de Corrupción – UFERCO) presented its court case against Nasry Asfura, a candidate for the National Party’s presidential nomination, and a member of its Let’s Save Honduras movement (Salvemos Honduras del Partido Nacional). The charges accuse him of using public funds for his 2014 political campaign. Meanwhile, the National Congress continues to debate electoral reforms.
Translation by: John Turnure Led by General Tito Livio Moreno, the Armed Forces are the most prominent institution in critical areas of the fight against