On March 17, PBI-Honduras tweeted:
“PBI recently accompanied ASODEBICOQ during an open town hall and during a meeting on the community development of Regadillos. In the open town hall, Quimistán was declared free of ZEDES and ratified free of mining and hydroelectric plants.”
Quimistán is a town and a municipality in the department of Santa Bárbara.
On Facebook, PBI-Honduras further explains:
“Recently PBI accompanied ASODEBICOQ during an open house and during a meeting focused on community development of the Regadillos community.
In the open meeting, Quimistán was declared free of ZEDES and ratified free of mining and hydroelectric power. Amada Lopez, vice coordinator of ASODEBICOQ, was elected member of the Municipal Transparency Commission.
We highlight the important work of ASODEBICOQ in the defense of common goods and in sustainable community development.”
Last month, Foreign Policy reported: “[Honduran president Xiomara] Castro has said she will abolish the Zones for Employment and Economic Development (ZEDEs), the semi-autonomous corporate enclaves that have their own low tax schemes as well as independent legal systems, environmental and labor regulations, and security forces.”
That article adds: “ZEDEs—which are considered a pet project of [now former president] Hernández’s, who pushed them through the Supreme Court in 2013—are widely loathed in Honduras, where many see them as a means of divvying the country’s territory to sell off to largely foreign investors while contributing to the displacement of rural minorities.”
This month, the BBC reported: “The new government of Honduras has announced that it will ban open-pit mining in the Central American nation. The government also said that it would cancel environmental permits for mining operations across the country.”
That article adds: “It is not yet clear if the cancellation will apply only to new projects or also to those already operating.”
And in February 2019, Radio Progreso reported that Santa Bárbara is “threatened by more than 15 hydroelectric projects and 23 concessions for mining.”
That article notes: “In the municipality of Quimistán, there is an imminent danger from the installation of the Santa Lucia hydroelectric dam, which is advanced by 90%. And, despite the fact that there is a strong rejection by the population, they currently intend to build a second hydroelectric dam also on the Cuyagual River.”
PBI-Honduras has accompanied ASODEBICOQ since May 2018.