German engineering firms withdraw from Agua Zarca dam project in Honduras
Oxfam has confirmed that Voith and Siemens will no longer supply components of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project in Honduras. The project has been fiercely opposed by the local communities, including the Indigenous rights defender Berta Caceres who was murdered for her protests in March last year.
In reaction, Maritza Gallardo Lopez, program coordinator for Oxfam in Honduras, said: “This is a long-overdue announcement. The Agua Zarca project was tainted from the very start; it shouldn’t have taken deaths and bloodshed of rights defenders for these companies to realize that. The companies must now strengthen their policies to stop them from getting tangled up in dirty deals and human rights abuses again.”
Voith and Siemens’ exit follows the withdrawal of two European financial backers, FMO and Finnfund, last month.
Berta Caceres was murdered on March 3, 2016. Days later, Oxfam called for these companies to drop their support for the Agua Zarca project, and soon after launched a public campaign aimed at pressuring them to act.
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