Tlahui-Politic No. 13, I/2002

Título: Background Information on the Babilonia Hydroelectric project
Fecha: 03/07/2001
De: Editor Equipo Nizkor
Para: Mario Rojas, Director de Tlahui

By Daniel A. Graham

EL OCOTAL, GUALACO, OLANCHO-Saturday, 30th June, at 12:45 in the afternoon, one of the most vociferous and able leaders of this small and scenic hamlet was massacred by bullet wounds while he was preparing to bathe in the solar of his house. According to various inhabitants, the deceased, Carlos Roberto Flores, 8 years old, was killed in cold blood by 6 guards employed by the firm Energisa S.A.

It would seem, that all the neighbours of the Community of El Ocotal, which belong to the small village of La Venta, confirmed that since a few months, the representatives and even the most highest civil servants of the firm Energisa, have been following them and threatening them, together with the preventive national police of the municipality of San Esteban, Gualaco and Catacamas. According to witnesses, their alleged crime is being against the hydroelectric project, which would put an end to the famous and picturesque streams of the river Babilonia, and also with communal patrimony such as the rural farms of 128 coffee growers of the area of Babilonia.

According to Jose de la Cruz Flores, a family member of the murdered victim, the persecution and harassment of Energisa have been accompanied by the judge of Catacamas, Mario Amaya, and the attorney Gia Leoni Jimenez, from the Ministerio Publico.

On the 20th April of this year, the National Coordinator against impunity (CONACIM) let it be known in a paid advertisement in El Heraldo newspaper, the names of the persons who at that moment were being followed by the firm, one of these being the present deceased Carlos Flores. According to witnesses, this is the first man which the Firm Energisa had on their elimination list. Settlers of the communities of La Venta, La Paz, Los Lirios and Casas Viejas, also affected by the project, confirm that Carlos Flores had already been twice, the object of an assassination attempt by the same guards of Energisa. They also affirm that Carlos Flores was selected as a target for being one of the major opponents to the installation of the project of Energisa.

In their presentations of the project, representatives of Energisa expressed that the hydroelectric project which will generate 4.4 megawatts of electric energy would not cause any social nor ecological damage to the area, which is contrary to the opinion of the leaders of La Venta and some members of the Municipal Corporation and the Mayor of Gualaco. Professor Rafael de Jesus Ulloa, municipal mayor of Gualaco, told that for the installation of the project, they did not take into account the municipal autonomy for which they do not have a corresponding work permit. Furthermore, he assured that the study of the environmental impact (EIA) does not correspond to the reality of the area, containing both technical and scientific flaws. Nevertheless, although the project is positioned 100% inside the limits of the National Park of Sierra de Agalta, the Secretary of natural resources and environment (SERNA) and the National Congress approved the project in 2001. A little afterwards the firm Energisa managed to get this legal support, they let loose a physical and psychological pressure campaign on the communities opposed to the installation of the dam.

Esteban Solis, delegate of God's word in El Ocotal and uncle of the deceased, said that the death of Flores was the result of "a fight against economic power" and that "we are below the highest power of the state because the State of our country (is such that), unfortunately, where laws can be bought." In the place where Flores died, shells of a 12 , AK -47 and 9 mm calibre rifle were found, scattered in various places around the solar. One observed that the three bullets crossed the ‘paila' which Flores would use to bathe; some of the other bullets embedded themselves into the tree and some into the wall of his parent's house, which was next to his house. The body had three bullet holes - one in his head and two in his back. According to witnesses, there were around 50 gunshots. Three women testified anonymously, to have seen 6 guards from the firm Energisa running towards the place of said firm, situated about 500 metres from the place of the events. According to witnesses, two of the six executers of the crime covered their faces with balaclavas.

Carlos Flores is survived by his mother, Rosa Elvira Flores; his father, Martin de Jesus Solis; his wife, Teresa Martinez Avila; and his two children, 5 and 3 years old respectively. Also various threatened settlers are still alive, who feared for their lives and asked the citizens for their general support before Energisa carried on killing the people in the town.

Source: Daniel A. Graham, by way of COFADEH, Honduras, 3jul01


© Tlahui

Estadísticas/Statistics/StatistiquesVisitas a esta página desde el 25 de Enero, 2004 (Ed. Posdatada)
www.cgiforme.comVisitas a Tlahui desde el 6 de Marzo, 1996