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"Berta's Death Must Be the Last": Oxfam Demands Megadam Funders Withdraw



Have any activists actually looked at the details of this hydro project? Hardly a "megadam, it is a small, run-of-river hydro projects that has no dam or reservoir - just a small wier in the river to divert river flow into a tunnel to turbines located downstream. Nothing but a small reach of riverbed a few hundred meters upstream gets inundated. The only impact will be reduced river flow downstream of the weir until it comes back out of the powerhouse - presumably a few km downstream. This is an example of environmentally responsible small-scale hydropower development. Honduras currently generates 55% of its electricity from oil.

The assassination of Ms. Caceras is an entirely different issue from the arguments over the merits and impacts of this project. I suspect the assassins were motivated by her anti-capitalism rather than this specific project - which would make sense regardless of the economic system that builds it.



I would like to hear Bernie address what is going on in Honduras and Clinton's connections. A true revolution would address our Imperial ambitions. I am a Bernie supporter and I want to hear him call out HRC on her atrocious record.



Very important issue. It probably won't be mentioned.


well said. Oxfam's focus on the dam is entirely too myopic regardless if the dam is a net good or ill (and you're probably right on that score anyway).

And Oxfam had a chance to help prevent this assassination (and many, many others) by excoriating the central role of the US in the coup that led to this ongoing purge, so for them to call for an end to political assassinations is nice, but they probably should do more to make that happen.


Your "small... environmentally responsible" project sure has a lot of big players arrayed to make it happen:

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Hydroelectric project Agua Zarca, the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd. (FINNFUND), the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), the German corporations Siemens and VoithHydro, the company CASTOR (Castillo Torres) Constructora Cerros de Comayagua, the Honduran bank FICOHSA, the corporate group of the Atala family, the government of the United States through the USAID program and the project “Mercado,” as well as SERNA, in complicity with the National Government of Honduras...

Also you elide the reference to this being but one of 17 dams being imposed on the Lenca.

No, i have not assessed the PDFs you linked to at the Dutch Development Bank site.

i take the side of the indigenous fighting for their lives, against the impositions of transnational capital enforced by the USA.


That list of financiers, engineers and contractors are the same ones one might find for a wind power or small-hydro, or even mass transit (USAns are incapable of building anything that rolls on rails) project here in Pennsylvania.

And the once again, these are not "dams" they are run-of-river hydro facilities. The dams they use are just millpond-size weirs. And the FMO handout makes it clear that they are not part of a series scheme - although the impact of several of these things would still be minuscule - but with big environmental benefits. .

And if it is the terms of the finance that is the problem - then attack the terms of the finance - not the project itself!

So you prefer ignorance to reading the information? What is it with the US (and now it seems, central American indigenous) left? Why the technphobic myth-clinging luddism - this notion that there is some kind of virtue in being uneducated among the US left? Che Guevara himself would approve of this project!

And it is NOT a "Mega Dam" - and in the name of truthful journalism, Comondreams needs to remove that word.


Thank you for the link on FMO, I did check it out and then went further to explore them on BankTrack which is a very helpful site for exploring what those benevolent and typically far removed banksters might be up to. I recommend it.
Here's a link below with info. on the project mentioned in the piece above. And a bit of this and that.......

"Many of the indigenous local population fear for their future and the future of their children. Although the relocation of the project prevents further destruction of their farm lands, they fear for desiccation of their lands. Since an unknown amount of water will be channeled, the village of La Tejera (one of the bigger villages of the area) may loose its access to water.

Flowing water has a deep spiritual value for the Lenca population; damming and stopping this water flow means putting a barrier to the life of the river. Spiritual ceremonies are regularly held at the riverbank, which cannot be performed if the river will run dry. There has been an agreement between the mayor and DESA, in which DESA promises a couple of jobs (without detailing the number or the payment), as well as street building and maintenance and partial electrification (the connection of two communities to the main line, but not the electrification of the households). However the community rejects these token gestures and claims that these are responsibilities of the state."


And some info. under the "dodgy deals" part of the BankTrack web site re FMO in general.


No, i prefer solidarity. Your ridiculous claiming of Guevara only multiplies the transparent absurdity of your pro-colonialist stance.


And speaking of your preference for ignorance:



Gradually I'm learning something about Berta Caceres from these posts --
unfortunately, I've known little about what has been happening there -
entirely my fault.

Here we have the people with the least fighting in the most courageous ways
with so much to be lost and violence steadily being used against them.

And our government always on the wrong side.

Additionally, a while back -- quite a while back - remember we were headed to dismantle
dams -- WHY? Because the dams the US Corps of Engineers built are impacting the
rotation of the earth. Essentially, this is business as usual which only succeeds through the
use of violence and assassination. Too much of our world has been changed in that way.
This is the only way the right wing can rise.


I fully agree that this is a privatization-of-a-public-resource scheme. But that it a totally different issue than the merits of the project itself. The Guatemalan government that should build the project and provide the benefits. Trouble is, they don't have the money for even this small project.

The state should certainly not provide electrification of the Lenca communities if the electricity comes from dirty source when a clean source they reject is so nearby.

And regarding the Lenca religious beliefs - it is the religious belief of fundamentalist protestant USAns that global warming science is a hoax - do we need to respect that religious belief too?


(smacks head) No... sorry.... dams are not affecting the rotation of the earth. (SMH)

And do I have to repeat that this project is not a "dam"?

Edit, Ok, yeah, in accordance with Newtons laws (conservation of momentum), filling a reservoir does affect the rotation of the earth. But the earth also moves a bit in response to a person jumping in the air. In both cases, the effect is miniscule - the diameter of atoms...


But you have to admit that the project itself is good, just the way it is being done (privatization of a public resource) is bad. Can you see that (huge) distinction? Every socialist should support it if it is publicly owned. That is what I meant by the Che remark.

But I'm not sire it can be called "colonialism" because if it is, then the Allegheny Plateau of Pennsylvania has been thoroughly colonized by the Spanish (Gamesa and Iberdrola). And The Allegheny river has been colonized by Germans (Voith Hydro).


Yunzer --

Here -- take your pick --

Dams are impacting the rotation of the earth --


"These effects [distribution of mass due to large mid-latitude reservoirs] are several hundred times smaller than natural variations in Earth's motion" [tides, crustal movement and earthquakes]

...from your link

Do you have no sense of scale of things?

And once again, for the nth time, this project does not have a dam that inundates any land.



What I said was: Dams are impacting the rotation of the earth

Your reply: smacks head) No... sorry.... dams are not affecting the rotation of the earth. (SMH)

I gave you an entire search page confirming what I said --

Meanwhile, there are MANY reasons to take down already existing dams -- many environmental reasons.

Here are some others -


Courageous and informative that COPINH lists the culprits; then the rest of us can take action if we deal with any of these entities.

Redirecting water for profit making is in general not benefiting poor communities or nature. I am all in for solar power. Honduras should have plenty of that energy available.


Not buying global warming isn't necessarily a part of fundamentalist religious beliefs. It's just not important to their cosmology given that they will be elsewhere (supposedly) when the shit hits the fan. Funny that since the shit has been flying for a while.

Secondly, yes I think we should honor each others religious beliefs if that is indeed what they are i.e. having to do with the universal thread of love and caring for each other. That doesn't mean we have to eat the whole tamale so to speak.

And finally, honoring the earth and each other is something we should all be doing beyond our religious beliefs or lack thereof. It might just make a slight difference in the way the world works. Consider the way early colonizers in this country not only rolled over the Native populations and their world but had the lack of vision in seeing that their way of honoring the earth was not just about spirituality but was also a very practical and sustainable way of interacting with the natural world.


Why should we honor or financially support male-supremacist religions?

Religions which have had on their list of enemies ...

Women, Jews, Native Americans, Africans enslaved here, Homosexuals .... ?

And we do actively fund these religions with our American tax dollars.

See: Papal Edicts carried out by Columbus on both Native Americans and Africans here --
"Enslave them or kill them."