Water defenders of Guapinol trial will hear concluding remarks on Friday, Feb 5th at the Tocoa, Colon courthouse.










The Guapinol 8 have been sitting in prison (“pretrial detention”)  for more than two years!


The trial against the water defenders started in December, was suspended, and then started up a few weeks ago in mid-January. Karen Spring has been posting daily trial summaries here. THIS WEEK on Friday, February 4th at 9 am, the concluding remarks will be delivered in the courthouse in Tocoa, Colon (about a 6 to 8 hour drive from Tegucigalpa). As many of you know, the concluding remarks lay out a summary of the case from the perspectives of the prosecutors, the ‘private accusers’ representing mining company Inversiones Los Pinares, and each of the defense attorneys. The water defenders are always present as well. The presence of Embassies officials and international human rights observers is important to tell the judges and the corrupt judicial system that people are watching. 

The Ask:

Our allies on the ground have been asked by the legal team to pressure the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa to attend the concluding remarks on Feb 4th starting at 9 am. So far, the U.S. Embassy has not attended the trial citing Covid concerns. Considering that U.S. VP Kamala Harris was able to fly to Honduras, attend Xiomara Castro’s inauguration in the national stadium with thousands of Hondurans in attendance and few Covid measures, this should not be an excuse. The courtroom is strict about Covid measures, respects social distancing and restricts the number of people allowed in the courtroom.

As an organization or individual, write to Ariel Jahner, the human rights representative at the U.S. Embassy ([email protected]) and insist that she or a representative of the Embassy attend the hearing. You can insist on the following points:

  • Strict covid measures are being implemented in the courthouse. Only 10 observers are able to enter and the guard checks body temperatures upon entrance. Masks are mandatory.
  • If the U.S. Embassy seeks to increase private sector investment in Honduras to curtail migration to the United States, they must insist on respect for human rights. The presence of the U.S. Embassy may help demonstrate this.
  • Several Congressional representatives have tweeted and shown concern about the Guapinol case. These include Senator Leahy, Jan Schakowsky, Senator Merkley, and others. The State departments’ Under Secretary for Civil Security, Democracy and Human Rights Urza Zeya also tweeted about the Guapinol case.

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