In January 2016, Berta Cáceres, co-founder of COPINH, asked our legal assistance to hold Dutch development bank FMO responsible for its involvement in the completion of the Agua Zarca Dam in Honduras, which has been associated with numerous human rights infringements. COPINH is a social and political organization that aims to support the indigenous and popular movements of Honduras. COPINH is represented in the Netherlands by Channa Samkalden.
On March 2nd, Berta Cáceres was murdered. Her death is a brutal and appalling example of the way resistance of the local communities to the dam has been violently suppressed.
The Agua Zarca dam is being constructed with substantial financial support from FMO. As a consequence, FMO has a direct influence on whether and in what way the construction of the dam is completed. In violation of national and international obligations, the construction was commenced without free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous communities. FMO is obliged to use its influence to prevent further environmental and human rights violations.
On March 9th, COPINH has formally requested that FMO immediately suspends all financial contributions to the Agua Zarca dam construction. The letter can be found here.