MAC: Mines and Communities


Published by MAC on 2007-05-21


Honduras Bishop Alfonso Santos Decries Mining Financing Liberal Party in Next Campaign

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

21st May 2007

"The mining companies have offered financing of 100 million Lempiras in the upcoming elections to the Liberal Party, if their reward for winning is that the deputies approve a new Mining Code that does not affect the interests of these transnationals." This attempt of bribery was denounced yesterday by the Bishop of the Diocese of Copán and member of the Civic Alliance for Democracy, Luis Alfonso Santos.

A new Mining Code is on the table in Honduras' National Congress, although Arnoldo Avilez, president of the commission of Natural Resources and the Environment said that at the moment, the already prepared law is only awaiting an opinion of the Executive. If the new law takes on the regulation of mining operations, this will surely affect the interests of the mining companies who enjoy generous concessions; for this they are ever willing to "help out" the Liberal Party in the financing of the upcoming campaign," according to Santos. The Bishop, who spoke on Radio América, did not say which Liberal Party leader or government official had received this irregular proposal which borders on bribery.

"It was an offer. The mining firms offered to finance the upcoming campaign if the Liberal government supported the mining activity as it is now. I don't think this honors the Liberal Party, and I think Roberto Micheleti should approve a new Mining Code that would benefit Honduras, that leaves profits to Honduras, and that doesn't contaminate the environment, said the so-called "Red Bishop" of Copán.

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