Serious Health Crisis In The Siria Valley, Honduras Caused By Goldcorp Inc.

by July 3, 2012
 

The following photo report is meant to inform the international community about the serious health crisis in the Siria Valley of Honduras, where Entremares (a subsidiary of Goldcorp Inc.) is operating an open-pit gold mine.

The report comes via Carlos Amador of the Siria Valley Environmental Committee (Comité Ambientalista del Valle de Siria), which is struggling to assist these and other affected villagers in the Siria Valley.

It’s an unnerving crisis to say the least; especially since Goldcorp continues to ignore and deny the situation. In fact, the company is trying to expand its mining operation.

The Siria Valley Environmental Committee will be participating in the People’s International Health Tribunal which is taking place later this month in the community of San Miguel Ixtaguacan, Guatemala.

A MESSAGE FROM THE VICTIMS OF MINING CONTAMINATION:

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

By Carlos Amador, July 2, 2012

Below, we present a series of photographs documenting the reality of life in the Siria Valley, Honduras, where a serious endemic health crisis continues to unfold. The health problems were caused by open-pit mining exploitation carried out by Entremares, a subsidiary of Goldcorp Inc. of Canada, at its “San Martin” mining operation.

“I am really concerned about my heath problems caused by contamination left by the mine. Before the mine came here, we were poor but healthy.” (1666) Maria Cabrera, El Pedernal

Since 2003, we have been documenting and denouncing the harms to our health and our environment, as well as other violations of our rights. As you will see in these photos, the problems are chronic. We are very alarmed, as we see the health of our community members getting worse every day … and it has been four years since Goldcorp suspended its mining operation here.

I, Carlos Amador, took these photos on May 10, 2012, when the Medical Brigade came to the community of El Pedernal (Siria Valley). People came to be examined by the Brigade from: El Pedernal, Palos Ralos, Barrosas, El Escanito, Guayabillas and Pueblo Nuevo. Former employees of Entremares (Goldcorp), with health problems caused by work in the mine, also came to be examined.

The Medical Brigade was coordinated and directed by Dr. Juan Almendares.

“Look at the state I am in. It keeps me awake at night. My health is poor, very poor. I have a lot of pain at night. I can’t sleep at all. All I do is feel pain.” (1658) Gladis Hernandez, El Pedernal

This is the part one of our photo-report. In the days to come, we will bring out part two, dealing with the impacts on the health of our community members whose lives are seriously threatened – they find themselves in a chronicle of a death foretold.

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH TRIBUNAL – GUATEMALA

As well, on July 14 and 15, we will be participating in the International Health Tribunal taking place in the community of San Miguel Ixtaguacan, Guatemala. (http://tribunaldesalud.org/; http://healthtribunal.org/)

This photo-essay is a message from the Siria Valley Environmental Committee to inform people of the terrible health crisis we are experiencing as a result of mining exploitation activities carried out by Entremares (Goldcorp Inc).

We urgently need more funds to support those who are suffering from health harms. As well, we need political support to continue our struggle for truth, justice and full reparations for all victims.

Please contact us directly with questions and comments.

In Canada and the United States, please contact Rights Action, an NGO that we have worked with in our struggle since 2004. Rights Action also supports us with funds received from Canada and the United States.

Thank-you. Please re-distribute this photo-report widely.

Carlos Amador
Siria Valley Environmental Committee
piviamador@yahoo.com
[504] 9962-9481

Dr. Juan Almendares
almendarez.bonilla@gmail.com

IN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES:
Grahame Russell
Rights Action
info@rightsaction.org
860-352-2448
www.rightsaction.org
www.facebook.com/rightsaction.org

“I am really worried about this – my health is bad.” (1600) Rogelio Sorto, El Pedernal
“I am really worried about my health. I used to be healthy, but when he mine came here it harmed us. This mine has caused a lot of harm to us.” (1083) Pedro Ramos, El Pedernal
“I am worried about my sickness. All this mine did was harm us. This say they want to open it again. Do they want to kill us off?” (1671) Jose Gutierres, El Escanito
“Look at how sick I am. I never had problems like this. It was when the mine came that I got sick. I have a lot of pain and I don’t know what to do about it. This Canadian mine came here and ruined everything.” (1552) Juana Aceituno
“I cry when I see the state of my health because I never imagined I would have such problems. The mine destroyed the hills and all they left behind was health problems. Look at what a terrible state I am in. I don’t know what to do – my health is terrible.” (1617) Petronila Arteaga, Palo Ralos
“I am in very poor health. Look at me. This is what the mine left behind – nothing but bad health” (1618) Luisa Hernadez, El Pedernal
“I can tell you I had no health problems before. The mine destroyed the hills and then this whole disaster with my body began. I am in pain. I cry all the time because I don’t know what to do. I am looking for medicine from this medical brigade you brought here but I don’t know if it will cure me. But the mining company will be paid for ruining our lives.” (1615) Genesis Velasquez, El Pedernal
“Look at my body. I never had any health problems. Never. I have been to clinics and they say my illness was caused by pollution left by the mine – it has poisoned the water and harmed our health.” (1661) Juana Diaz, El Pedernal
“Look at the state of my daughter. I cry all night because she is very itchy and scratches herself so much she bleeds. I am in a desperate state over this. This Canadian mine caused nothing but harm here and now they have the money they made from our hills.” (1663) Angelica Suarez, Palo Ralos