#right2RIP : Tell Aura Minerals to Respect the Dead and the Living in Honduras!

Aura Minerals, a Toronto-based mining company, is seeking to dig up and move a 200 year old cemetery near La Unión, Copán, Honduras, because the cemetery is “in the way” of their mining project.

We are disgusted by Aura Minerals’ actions and assert that the community of Azacualpa has the right to rest in peace!

Please join our ‪#‎right2RIP‬ campaign in solidarity with this brave community who, despite threats, are standing up to Aura Minerals to protect the resting place of their loved ones.

See more #right2RIP photos here.

Here’s what to do:

1. Post a photo

  • Find a picture of a loved one who has passed away (for example, your grandmother, a friend, even a respected celebrity or public figure) and take a selfie with this picture in whatever context you’d like.
  • Share this picture of yourself on Facebook, Twitter, via photo text to your friends, etc., along with the following message (fill in the info that applies to your photo!): “This is [name and/or relationship]. [Pronoun] has the right to rest in peace, and so should the community of Azacualpa! #right2RIP www.tiny.cc/right2rip.” For example, “This is my friend Alberto. He has the right to rest in peace, and so should the community of Azacualpa! #right2RIP www.tiny.cc/right2rip”.
  • If you’re sharing your picture on a platform that allows more than 140 characters, you can add the following text, along with whatever other commentary you’d like to include: “Canadian mining company Aura Minerals is trying to force the community of Azacualpa in Honduras to let them dig up countless loved ones because the cemetery is ‘in the way’ of their mining project. For more information about this atrocity or to join the ‘Right to Rest in Peace’ campaign, click: www.mininginjustice.org/aura-minerals. #right2RIP”
  • Send the photo to us (or a link to it) so we can share it with Azacualpa! Reach us at mininginjustice@gmail.com

2. Sign the petition

3. What if I don’t have a photo?

  • If you want to support the campaign but don’t have a photo to share, please help us spread the word about this issue and our campaign! For example, you can tweet/post: “Aura wants to dig up Honduran community Azacualpa’s cemetery for a mine. Join the #right2RIP campaign to fight back:www.tiny.cc/right2rip“.
  • BONUS ACTION: Find a piece of paper and write a message of solidarity to the community of Azacualpa to let them know you support their struggle to protect their land, loved ones, and sacred site. Follow the instructions above re: posting the photo online and please also send it to mininginjustice@gmail.com, so we can pass it along to the community!

4. Join the campaign page on facebook

5. Remember…

  • To use the hastag #right2RIP in everything that you post!
  • We are in touch with impacted community members in Honduras, so we would love to hear from you about all the ways that you supported this campaign in order to report some numbers back to them! Reach us at mininginjustice@gmail.com
  • Please share this call as far and wide as you can! Have a blog? Blog this! Know a journalist who might be interested in covering this story? Connect us! Have any connections to funeral homes or cemetery workers who may want to support the campaign? Link us to them! We’re doing lots behind the scenes, too – stay tuned for stories!

More Information

Aura Minerals, a Toronto-based mining company, is seeking to dig up and move a 200 year old cemetery near La Unión, Copán, Honduras. The community of Azacualpa has countless loved ones currently buried in this valued site, with the most recent burial just earlier this year. Aura Minerals says that they cannot continue mining for gold without exhuming and relocating the bodies.

Aura_mineAura Minerals has been using every tool in the book to collaborate with the local police and military in forcing the community into allowing their family members to be exhumed and relocated, including violently evicting protesters, putting the cemetery under military occupation, bribes and false promises, drone surveillance, charging local leaders with ‘illicit protest’, and declaring the cemetery to be a safety hazard. Despite all of this, the community continues to resist these coercive pressures through blockades, negotiations, and community referenda. Many worry that a relocation of the cemetery could happen any day unless more action is taken.

Just this month, the company and the Honduran Government, Army and Police pressured the Azacualpa Environmental Committee into signing a so-called “Act of Conciliation”, in the presence of:

  • Hector Leonel Ayala, Minister of the Interior, Human Rights, Justice and Decentralization;
  • Abel Contreras, Departmental Governor of Copan;
  • Coronel Mario Edgardo Padilla, Commander of the 120th Infantry Brigade;
  • National Police Commissioner Henry Amilcar Márquez Quintero;

who were brought in to intimidate members of the community into signing an agreement to allow for the destruction of the cemetery, without prior consultation with the community. Click here for more information about what happened during this coercive “negotiation”. 

The community of Azacualpa needs our help to put pressure on Aura Minerals here at home. Help us tell this Canadian company: Azacualpa has the right to rest in peace!

Again, here’s what to do:

  1. Find a picture of a loved one who has passed away (for example, your grandmother, a friend, even a respected celebrity or public figure).
  2. Take a selfie with this picture in whatever context you’d like.
  3. Share this picture of yourself on Facebook, Twitter, via photo text to your friends, etc., along with the following message (fill in the info that applies to your photo!): “This is [name and/or relationship]. [Pronoun] has the right to rest in peace, and so should the community of Azacualpa! #right2RIP www.tiny.cc/right2rip.” For example, “This is my friend Alberto. He has the right to rest in peace, and so should the community of Azacualpa! #right2RIP www.tiny.cc/right2rip”.
  4. If you’re sharing your picture on a platform that allows more than 140 characters, you can add the following text, along with whatever other commentary you’d like to include: “Canadian mining company Aura Minerals is trying to force the community of Azacualpa in Honduras to let them dig up countless loved ones because the cemetery is ‘in the way’ of their mining project. For more information about this atrocity or to join the ‘Right to Rest in Peace’ campaign, click: www.mininginjustice.org/aura-minerals. #right2RIP”
  5. If you want to support the campaign but don’t have a photo to share, you can tweet/post: “Aura wants to dig up Honduran community Azacualpa’s cemetery for a mine. Join the #right2RIP campaign to fight back:www.tiny.cc/right2rip“.
  6. Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/right2rip-tell-aura-minerals-to-respect-the-dead-and-the-living-in-honduras
  7. We are in touch with impacted community members in Honduras, so we would love to hear from you about all the ways that you supported this campaign in order to report some numbers back to them! And be sure to use the hashtag #right2RIP in everything you post.
  8. BONUS ACTION: Find a piece of paper and write a message of solidarity to the community of Azacualpa to let them know you support their struggle to protect their land, loved ones, and sacred site. Take another picture and send it to mininginjustice@gmail.com, and we will pass it along!

Please share this call as far as wide as you can! We’re doing lots behind the scenes, too, to make this work – stay tuned for stories!

For more information:

****************************

Examples of people to contact with your message of support:

  • Jim Bannatine, President and CEO of Aura Minerals: info@auraminerals.com
  • William Monti Reed, Aura Minerals mine manager in Honduras: info@auraminerals.com
  • Your Member of Parliament
  • The Canadian embassy in Honduras: tglpa@international.gc.ca
  • Michael Gort, Canadian ambassador to Honduras: Michael.Gort@international.gc.ca
  • Claude Beauséjour, Director, Central America Development Program: claude.beausejour@international.gc.ca

 

*****************************

Inspired by the #right2RIP campaign, community members from Azacualpa visited the threatened cemetery with photos of their loved ones who are currently buried there…

IMG_3728  IMG_3730 IMG_3731 IMG_3732 IMG_3733 IMG_3734 IMG_3735 IMG_3736