Civil society response to FMO and Finnfund decision to suspend loans to Agua Zarca project

17 March 2016
Declaration

We welcome the announcement of FMO that it will suspend all its activities in Honduras, including further disbursements of the loan for the Agua Zarca project, following the brutal murder of Nelson Garcia, member of COPINH. We wish to reiterate our demand to FMO, Finnfund and CABEI that  after years of ongoing violence and intimidation in relation to the project, they fully and permanently withdraw from the project.

Murales realizados en la sede campesina del pueblo Lenca, Utopia, donde se encuentra una de las radios comunitarias de COPINH. / Photo credit Saraguate @ sinrequisa.blogspot.nl
The undersigned organisations welcome the announcement of FMO on March 16 1 that it will suspend all its activities in Honduras, including further disbursements of the loan for the Agua Zarca project, following the brutal murder of Nelson Garcia, member of COPINH.

We consider such a suspension a necessary first step for a full investigation of all FMO funded projects in Honduras. However, the situation in Honduras is not a stand-alone case. To prevent further tragedies from occurring, in Central America and elsewhere, FMO and the Dutch government must ensure that all FMO investments fully respect the rights of those affected, in particular the rights of indigenous peoples.

We also welcome the public confirmation by Finnfund, the Finnish lender to the Agua Zarca project, that it will follow in the steps of FMO and also suspend all disbursements to the Agua Zarca project. 2

Our organisations further welcome the announced visit of FMO CEO Nanno Kleiterp and Finnfund CEO Jaakko Kangasniemi to Honduras to further investigate the situation around the Agua Zarca project. As both institutions are mandated by the Dutch and Finnish governments respectively we insist that government representatives of both countries accompany the delegation, preferably ambassador level, and that the findings are publicly reported.

We further call upon the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), the third financier of the project, to now publicly clarify its role in the Agua Zarca project, and to also immediately suspend all payments to the project.

We wish to reiterate our demand to FMO, Finnfund and CABEI that, following the murder of Berta Cáceres, after years of ongoing violence and intimidation in relation to the Agua Zarca project, they fully and permanently withdraw from the project.

For the full list of endorsements please see www.banktrack.org

1.https://www.fmo.nl/k/n1771/news/view/28133/20819/fmo-suspends-all-activities-in-honduras-effective-immediately.html
2. http://www.development-today.com/magazine/Frontpage/finnfund_suspends_disbursements_to_honduran_dam_project