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Upstream Journal

magazine on human rights & social justice

Posts Tagged / conflict

  • Nov 01 / 2009
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Journal

Oppression or opportunity? Tourism project in Honduras sparks conflict

“We don’t want outsiders to come and exploit us or remove us from our ancestral lands.

“We don’t want outsiders to come and exploit us or remove us from our ancestral lands.
We want to develop an eco-tourism industry which is ours and which will sustain our Garifuna cosmovision and respect the natural environment.”
Photos by
James Rodriguez

 

Garifuna people have lived in Tela Bay, on the north coast of Honduras, for more than 200 years. The community has high levels of poverty and unemployment and relies on fishing and land cultivation. It suffers from the lack of economic prospects, discrimination, migration and lack of government support. Basic infrastructure and sanitary conditions are poor.

UNESCO has identified Garifuna culture as an “outstanding but endangered heritage.” There are only 11,000 Garifuna people, descended from African and Amerindian origins, living in ten communities along the coast of Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua. Their language is largely undocumented and not formally taught except in one village.

Now Tela Bay is changing. The Los Micos Beach and Golf Resort has begun construction in the area, supported by the Honduran Ministry of Tourism and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which is funding the project.

“With funding and training, we expect the Garifuna people to have opportunities to develop new businesses, to become entrepreneurs and profit from the arrival of tourism,” Ricardo Martinez, the Honduras Minister of Tourism, said in an interview for this article.

Even so, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), whose stated aim is to protect the Garifuna’s culture and territory, fears that the resort will lead to the destruction of these local communities. OFRANEH points to recent episodes of violence as examples of repression Garifuna communities face. Continue Reading

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  • Nov 01 / 2009
  • 0
Journal

Landgrabbing and forced evictions “Development that impoverishes”?

Confrontation at Dey Krahorm community

Confrontation at Dey Krahrom community. Photos by Geneviève King Ruel

Cambodia is a post-conflict country struggling to get back on its feet since 1993. Badly afflicted by endemic corruption, a judicial system dominated by money and politics, and the absence of rule of law, the issue of forced evictions, or landgrabbing as it is commonly called, affects tens of thousands of Cambodians every year.
For some, June 6th 2006 (6-6-6) was believed to announce the apocalypse. And although humanity did not indeed come to an end that morning, the world did collapse for more than a thousand families of the Sambok Chap community, in Phnom Penh. Their houses were destroyed, and the villagers crowded into trucks and relocated to Andung, almost 30 kilometres outsides the capital.

This was the start of the largest displacement of people since the Khmer Rouge, in the north-western end of the city around Boeung Kak lake.

Sambok Chap residents previously enjoyed a life in the city, running small businesses and shops close to adequate resources and local markets. Now, more than three years since the eviction, most of them live in deplorable conditions, without access to clean water and sanitation.
Continue Reading

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