By Greg McCain, March 6, 2014. Source: Upside Down World
A caravan makes it’s way up the dusty winding road into the mountains of the department of Yoro. It is heading toward San Francisco de Locomapa, one of the territories of the Tolupane people, an indigenous tribe that has been in existence for over 5,000 years.
San Francisco is also the site of a massacre that occurred on August 25, 2013. Armando Fúnez Medina (46), Ricardo Soto Fúnez (40), and Maria Enriqueta Matute (71) were murdered by Selvin Matute and Carlos Matute (no relation to Enriqueta). The latter two are hired guns for the Bella Vista Mining Company, which has been extracting antimony from the surrounding mountains without the consent of the community and with a mining concession that is in dispute. The two men also hire themselves out to illegal loggers that deforest the mountainsides.
The three victims were members of the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ, in its Spanish acronym), which has been protesting the mining and illegal logging and the installation of a hydroelectric dam on Tolupane territory. The community had begun a roadblock on August 12, 2013 stopping trucks that were loaded with illegal timber and antimony and then reporting it to the local police who essentially let the illegal trucks and their cargo go. Continue reading